Home Finance CBN extends deadline for exchange of old for new redesigned Naira, CPPE says 10 days not enough

CBN extends deadline for exchange of old for new redesigned Naira, CPPE says 10 days not enough

by Business News Report

Central Bank of Nigeria has extended the January 31, deadline by another 10 days for Nigerians to dispose of the old notes. The new deadline is February 10. But Director Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise Muda Yusuf says “just got news that the deadline for the currency swap has been extended by 10days.  The CPPE believes that 10 days is grossly inadequate to make up for the glaring shortcomings of the apex bank in this process”.  The Presidential Campaign Council PCC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN and its governor, Godwin Emefiele for hearkening to the voice of Nigerians on the need to extend the deadline for the swap of old Naira notes for new ones. APC Director, Media and Publicity reacting to the extension said “we want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 notes to the new ones. Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians across the country from getting the new notes via Automated Teller Machines ATMs and over the counter from Deposit Money Banks, many Nigerians had faulted the policy and requested for an extension of the January 31 deadline. Part of the statement reads; “We welcome the 10 days extension of deadline and the additional seven days of grace. This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.

CBN extension is coming two days before the original deadline after CBN insisted the deadline will not be changed last week prompting different stakeholders to mount pressure on the bank. The National Assembly was at the forefront of the pressure groups with Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announcing that he will have no option but to arrest Emefiele if he fails to report to the House of Representatives as summoned over the deadline.  Ahmed Lawan, Senate president also held a session where the house passed a motion for the deadline to be pushed to June. Caving into the pressure, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, Sunday, January 29, announced at a press briefing in Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari that the new deadline is February 10. Also, a press statement on Sunday on the progress of the implementation of the new redesigned currency by the CBN, said that the purpose of the CBN’s meeting with the president was to provide him with updates about the implementation status of the CBN currency redesign program currently going on across the Federation. Emefiele, who thanked “Mr president for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious program{me} because, as I had said in the past, the Central Bank of Nigeria hasn’t had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign program{me} in last 19 years and indeed,” emphasising “that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN.”

According to him, from the onset of this currency redesign programme, “we made it clear that for 19 years, the CBN hasn’t been able to conduct this important aspect of its mandate, whereas this should normally have been done within a 5-8 years window.” The CBN governor said that the bank’s “aim is mainly to make our Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious and like you can see; we’ve started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable. Secondly, we aim to support the efforts of our Security agencies in combating Banditry and Ransom taking in Nigeria through this program and we can see that the Military is making good progress in this important task in Nigeria.” He said that available data at the Central Bank of Nigeria has shown that in 2015, currency in circulation was only NI.4 trillion. As at October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion; out of which only N500 billion was within the Banking Industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes. Ordinarily, when CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.

Part of the statement reads: “So far and since the commencement of this program, we have collected about NI.9 trillion; leaving us with about N900 billion (N500b + NI.9trilIion). To achieve effective distribution, of the new currency the CBN has taken the following steps: “a. We held several meetings with our Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and provided them with Guidance Notes on processes they must adopt in the collection of old notes and distribution of the New Notes to all Nigerians. These includes specific directives to DMBs to load new notes into their ATMs nationwide to ensure an equitable / transparent mechanism for the distribution of the new notes to all Nigerians. “b. We commenced a nationwide sensitization through the Print and electronic media to create an awareness on the redesigned notes to Nigerians including collaboration with the National Orientation agency to reach all Nigerians across multiple channels. “c. We deployed 30,000 Super Agents nationwide to assist in our Cash Swap initiative in the hinterlands, rural areas, and regions underserved by banks in the Country to ensure that the weak and vulnerable ones amongst us can swap/ exchange their old notes.

“d. We deployed all our staff, particularly the Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and Directors in Abuja to proceed to all CBN branches Nationwide to join the mass mobilisation campaign and monitoring programs, working with the Deposit Money Banks , agents and our Branch controllers across the 36 states of the Federation. This is meant to ensure compliance with all our guidelines already issued for smooth implementation of the program. Although we have received some reports of breaches by some bank branches, we have agreed with Executive Chairmen of the EFCC and ICPC to assist us, by sending their staff to all CBN and DMB branches nationwide to join in monitoring the implementation of these guidelines. The aim is to ensure compliance with the laid down guidelines. “e. We are happy that so far, the exercise has achieved a success rate of over 75 percent of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system. Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable have had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the Agent Naira Swap initiative as well as the CBN Senior staff nationwide sensitisation team exercise.

“f. Aside from those holding illicit/ stolen Naira in their homes for speculative purposes, we do aim to give all Nigerians that have Naira legitimately earned and trapped, the opportunity to deposit their legitimately trapped monies at the CBN for exchange. “Based on the foregoing, we have sought and obtained Mr President’s approval for the following: “i. A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023; to allow for collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN losses their Legal tender Status. “Our CBN staff currently on mass mobilisation and monitoring together with officials of the EFCC and ICPC will work together to achieve these objectives. “ii. A 7-day grace period, beginning on February 10 to February 17,2023, in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act allowing Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status. We therefore appeal to all Nigerians to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure a hitch free process for the implementation of this very important program.”

Related Posts