Naira swap: Northern group seeks deadline extension
The pan-northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum on Saturday, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the deadline for the swap of the old currency notes with the new ones in commercial banks across the country.
The northern group noted that doing so would save Nigerians, especially the rural dwellers the agony of losing their hard-earned money.
The ACF stated this through its Secretary General, Murtala Aliyu, in a statement released to journalists in Kaduna on Saturday.
The Forum noted that government must be sensitive towards the plights of ordinary Nigerians and consider extending the January 31 deadline within which the old naira notes would cease as legal tender in the country.
The ACF said, “As the deadline for the exchange expires on Tuesday, we are afraid that the majority of our people in the rural areas are unable to change their old currencies for the new ones. This is because even in urban centres, the new notes are scarce.
“Also where the CBN made some arrangements to facilitate such, the exercise is being challenged by numerous factors, such as lack of adequate access to bank services on the part of the people, cumbersome exchange procedure, etc. This has subjected innocent people to hardships, uncertainty and anxiety.
“We are of the strong belief that ordinary people especially in the North will lose their hard-earned money through no fault of theirs. Government must be sensitive to the plight of the citizens to safeguard their interests in all areas.
“Insinuations by some political actors that the exercise is designed deliberately to fail, or cause chaos to sabotage the ongoing democratic process should not be allowed to be proven. Persons who lose their wealth through uncoordinated government policy or actions are likely to assume they have been let down by the said government.
“We appreciate the efforts by the National Assembly to intervene and call to order the arrogance and insensitivity being displayed by the leadership of the Central Bank.
“The ACF strongly calls on the President and the CBN to as a matter of urgency extend the expiration date of the exercise and improve on the arrangements so as to accommodate everyone with genuine cases.”