On Wednesday, the Senate decided that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should extend the deadline for the old naira notes till June 30, 2023.
Following redesigning the 1,000, 500, and 200 notes, the CBN earlier gave a deadline of January 31 to remove the old notes from circulation.
The policy generated controversy, with many stakeholders criticizing the decision as unrealistic. National elections, often heavily cash-induced, are due by February 25, according to the electoral body INEC.
The CBN has maintained that its cash limit policy was devoid of political interference and was meant to salvage the country’s economy from persons who have hoarded over 80 percent of the currency out of bank vaults, apparently for criminal enterprises.
Senator Ali Ndume moved a motion to extend the circulation of the old notes. The motion was seconded by Senator Adamu Aliero
Mr. Ndume argued that the time for the withdrawal of old notes from circulation needed to be longer, especially for his constituents in southern Borno, where years of insurgency has limited the availability of banks.
Therefore, The Senate urged CBN to extend the date for the implementation of its new cash policy.
Last week, the World Bank expressed concerns over the impact of the naira redesign on Nigerians’ livelihood, stating the timing and short transition period may have adverse effects on the country’s economic activity.