The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the validity of old naira notes.
There has been increased tension in the country as Nigerians scramble to meet up with the January 31 deadline for the old Naira notes, amid poor circulation of the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 series.
KanyiDaily recalls that CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had apologized to Nigerians for not extending the deposit of the old naira notes despite calls from several quarters including the senate for the apex bank to extend the deadline of January 31st, 2023.
In a video shared via his Twitter page on Saturday, January 28, Atiku appealed to the CBN for “a slight extension”, adding that it will be magnanimous of the government to ease the burden on Nigerians.
The PDP presidential candidate argued that the “large” unbanked population, especially in the rural area, will find it almost impossible to exchange their old banknotes for the redesigned currency in time.
He said, “The ongoing policy of the CBN to redesign the naira has generated wide reactions across the country and beyond.
“This exercise is a worldwide practice and therefore, not new. Especially as the January 31st deadline draws closer, a great number of Nigerians, out of good conscience, have expressed apprehension about how the deadline will make life more difficult for a large number of Nigerians.
“The large number of unbanked population who do their businesses, especially in the rural area, will find it almost impossible to meet up with the deadline of January 31st to exchange their old bank notes for the redesigned currency.
“I’m aware of the challenges that farmers and others, like artisans, in remote areas of the country go through in moving cash from remote areas to commercial banks for conversion.
“On this note, I’m compelled to align my position with the upsurge of demands for a slight extension of the monetary conversion policy.
“The January 31st deadline will certainly cause a heavy discomfort on our people and it will be magnanimous on the part of government and regulatory agencies to ease the burden on the people in the public interest.”
Atiku noted that though the exercise is not strange to Nigeria, a great number of Nigerians, out of good conscience, have expressed apprehension about how the deadline will make life more difficult for a large number of Nigerians.
“While we can continue to sensitise the public on the impending imperative of mobile banking policy, it is important for the CBN to consider an extension of time that the public can convert their unbanked monies into new notes thereby reducing the financial consequences on these vulnerable citizens.
“I believe such a painful experience is not the intention behind the currency redesign initiative,” he said.
Watch the video below:
My position on the CBN January 31st deadline on the new Naria notes. -AA https://t.co/FP3me2VLjZ
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) January 28, 2023
Meanwhile, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has postponed the planned visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state following complaints by residents over the hardship being faced in getting the new naira notes.