By Henry Umoru
THE Senate Wednesday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to as a matter of urgency extend the date of Withdrawal of old currency from circulation from 31st January to June 31st 2023.
The resolution of the Senate was sequel to a motion titled, ” Urgent need to extend the withdrawal of old currency from circulation” and sponsored by former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, APC, Borno South.
Presenting the motion, motion, Senator Ndume who noted that the timing of the policy was wrong, said that since the beginning of the implementation of the cash withdrawal limit, the new notes are not in circulation even in cities talkless of in the villages.
Ndume said that the “Senate Notes that Many Nigerian banks on Thursday 15th December 2022 open their vault to customers and depositors to exchange their old naira notes for the newly redesigned currency, which has a stipulated deadline of January 31, 2023;
“Aware that Some Nigerians are already envisaging rush and long queues in the banking hall across the country as a result of people trying to get access to the new naira note, which was unveiled last month by President Mohammad Buhari at a brief ceremony at the state house, Abuja;
“Aware also that the old notes are expected to be in circulation alongside the new ones until January 31, 2023, when the old notes are expected to be phased out, it is expected that many Nigerian businesses would start to reject the old notes as soon as the banks start paying out the redesigned notes to customers;
“Observes that Access to the new notes may be compounded by the recent circular by the CBN, which limit the amount of cash individuals and corporate entities could withdraw within a certain period of time. For instance, the CBN said individuals could only withdraw N100, 000 per week while corporate could only have access to N500, 000 per week through over-the-counter (OTC) transactions;
“Observes that access to large quantities of cash above the limit would attract processing fees of 5% and 10% for individuals and corporate entities respectively. Large withdrawals are also subjected to scrutiny by the regulator to determine the importance and usage of such cash; and
“Convinced that if the withdrawal of old notes from circulation is not extended beyond 31st January many Nigerian will be thrown into hardship and to avoid a repeat of 1984 experience withdrawal of old notes.”
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