The National Assembly have applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, after its Governor Godwin Emefiele assured that Nigerians will not lose their old notes after the February 10 deadline.
The Governor declared that Nigerians that they would not lose their old notes after the February 10 deadline of the currency swap of old notes for the new ones. Emefiele, gave the assurance at a crucial meeting with the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on phase-out of the old Naira notes.
He said that while the old notes would cease to be legal tender after the deadline, Nigerians could still take them to the bank for exchange or deposit the old notes in their accounts.
“You will not lose your money even when it loses its legal tender. You can take it to the bank, pay it into your account. But we should please allow this policy to succeed,” he said.
Emefiele said the CBN stood by the position of the House of Representatives on the provisions of section 20(3) of the CBN Act. Section 20(3) of the CBN Act, 2007 provides that the CBN should continue to accept the old notes until they are phased out of circulation. Emefiele said that the apex bank was aware of the pains Nigerians were going through and assured that the CBN was doing everything possible to address them.
However the House Committee ask CBN to restore over-the-counter transaction to the old limit before the new policy takes effect. The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on cashless policy on Tuesday submitted its report and recommended that cash releases by the CBN would be monitored on a weekly basis. This came to fore after the adhoc committee led by the House Leader , Alhassan Ado- Doguwa interfaced with the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on same day(Tuesday) before finally submitting its report. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa while submitting its Ad-HocCommittee report stated that the Committee finally got to meet with the Central Bank governor and had earlier also met with heads of commercial banks. “The Committee in analysing information from all quarters found out that the new notes are scarce in commercial banks.
He agreed with the position of the House that the old notes can be redeemed by banks at any time of presentation.
The recommendations of the Ad-Hoc Committee include that the Ad-Hoc Committee will continue to work with the Central Bank and commercial banks to ensure the cashless policy and cash-swap policy will not affect Nigerians adversely and that the CBN will submit a weekly report to the Ad-Hoc Committee on currency releases to commercial banks.
It was agreed that the CBN should operationalise the provisions of Section 20 (3) of the CBN Act to the effect that the currency gets redeemed after the deadline and that the CBN is to ensure the availability and issuance of new notes to Nigerian.
It was further agreed that the ad Hoc Committee continue to work considering that the House is going on break while the issue at stake requires further attention of the Special Committee.
Also, there will be need to restore the over-the-counter transaction to the old limit before the new policy was introduced.
The Speaker of the House, Rep. Gbajabiamila commended the Ad-Hoc Committee for its dedication and diligence while commending the Honourable members for the sacrifice to see the matter resolved in the interest of Nigerians.
He expressed hope that the suffering facing Nigerians over accessing the new notes will begin to abate following the CBN governor’s assurances and that the supply of the new notes will improve drastically. Rep. Gbajabiamila berated banks that hoard the new currencies and supply in bulk to influential customers at the detriment of other Nigerians.
He also called on the CBN to make the new notes more available to Nigerians across the country, both in rural and urban areas of the nation. The Speaker also called on stakeholders in all arms of government to work together for the good governance of the nation and Nigerians