The Senate today voted to extend the deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes for the new ones from January 31 to July 31, 2023.
It remains, however, to be seen whether the Central Bank of Nigeria will act on this decision and advise by the Senate.
It will be recalled that while launching the new Naira notes design, the CBN had set January 31, 2023 as the terminal date for the use of all old naira notes and subsequently advised all Nigerians to exchange their old notes for the new ones before the expiration date.
In passing its motion for the deadline extension, the Senate based the decision on scarcity of the New Naira notes at ATMs, POS and bank branches. It is widely noted that many ATM machines are still dispensing the old naira notes contrary to the directive of the CBN. The banks and the ATMs operators complain that they they do not have enough of the new Naira notes while the CBN on the other hand has been blaming the banks for failing to come forward and collect enough of the new notes.
The central Bank has continued to stress that it would not extend the deadline by any means, despite the many appeals from different quarters. Addressing a press conference today, at the end of the CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said that the Bank has no plans to extend the January 31st deadline earlier set by it.
The motion by the upper house adds a strong voice to the wishes of many stakeholders and it is hoped that the CBN would either listen to this advise / motion form the Senate or at least make about a 30 day extension for the exchange of the old Naira notes.