By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday endorsed the proposed redesign of the country’s official currency, Naira note by the apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but not without seeking the extension of deadline to mop up old notes.
The Senate insists that the deadline of Tuesday, January 31, 2023 to pay all cash in circulation into banks was too short and should be extended.
The resolution follows a motion on the CBN policy by the Chairman of Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Sani Uba.
Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber therefore called for more enlightenment on the part of the CBN, especially in the rural areas to ensure that all citizens are made aware of the new policy.
According to the Senate, such mass awareness would help Nigerians in the rural areas to comply with the policy so as not to lose their hard-earned income.
The Senate urged the CBN to put measures in place in the face of ubiquitous Financial Technology (FinTech) to ensure that the local populace are able to bank their cash with ease within the stipulated time.
The lawmakers said such a measure would also ensure the security of the local population who might be waylaid and dispossessed of their cash by criminal elements like bandits and insurgents.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele in October announced plans to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes, expressing worry that 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is being hoarded by Nigerians.
He further urged Nigerians to proceed to their banks to deposit their Naira notes, adding that the deposit fee would be waived for transactions below N150,000.
Emefiele added that the redesigning of Naira notes would help to curb counterfeit notes, as well as hamper ramson payment to terrorists and kidnappers.