The Senate on Tuesday again urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the use of old Naira notes till July 31, 2023.
This followed a motion on naira redesign moved by Senator Sadiq Umar (APC-Kwara North) on the floor.
The Upper Chamber on December 28, 2022, advised the CBN to extend the phasing out of old currency notes scheduled for January 31, 2023 for six months.
However, the CBN has vowed to go ahead with its January 31, 2023 deadline.
Senator Umar said the call becomes necessary in view of the financial hardship the “rushed” phasing out of the old Naira notes would inflict on Nigeria, especially the rural populace, who don’t readily have access to banking facilities.
He insisted the redesigned naira notes are scarce and not available for those wishing to change their money to new notes.
Senator Umar said: “This is a motion for the extension of the use of the old Naira notes from January 31, 2023 to July 31, 2023.
“The Senate recalls that we had a resolution in this chamber on 28 December 2022, for the CBN to extend the use of the old notes for six months as well as increase the maximum withdrawal limits permissible.
“The Senate is aware that the withdrawal limit has been increased to N500,000 weekly for individuals and N5 million weekly for corporate organisations.
“However, the CBN is insisting on terminating the use of old Naira notes by the end of this month which is barely a week away.
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“Observes that there are no enough new notes in circulation and in fact, the banks’ ATMs that should be dispensing the new notes are still dispensing only the old notes and citizens still have a lot of old notes that they are unable to deposit in banks.
“And right now there are uncontrollable queues in several states in the country.
“The Senate notes that experiences around the world have shown that such abrupt decisions if not controlled as being planned by the CBN created chaos and plunged the economies into crises, a very good case is India.
“However, in countries that operate with the order as seen in the United Kingdom, new notes are currently in circulation and they are running smoothly along with the old currency.
“The Senate, therefore, resolves that the CBN should immediately extend the use of the old notes by six months, that is from January 31st to July 31st, 2023 with immediate effect.”
Several Senators in their contribution supported the motion but Senator Sam Egwu (PDP- Ebonyi North) opposed the motion.