January 31 deadline on naira notes: My running back and forth has paid up with extension – Tinubu
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved extension of the ongoing currency swap by ten days, moving the deadline from January 31, 2023 to February 10, 2023.
And the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has welcomed the decision, describing the development as huge relief for Nigerians.
But the House of Representatives has rejected the extension, saying it’s not the solution to demands of Nigerians.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had fixed January 31st as the deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes; N200, N500 and N1000.
Commending the decision, the APC PCC said the decision showed the duo of President Buhari and CBN listened to the concerns raised by the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the challenges faced by Nigerians on the naira swap policy.
A statement signed Sunday by Director Media and Publicity APC-PCC Bayo Onanuga said the decision was a right step in the right direction.
“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 naira notes to the new ones.
“Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians from across the country from getting the new notes via ATMs and over the counter from Banks, many Nigerians especially requested for an extension of the 31 January, 2023 deadline.
“We welcome the 10 day 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.
“We specially commend Presidential Muhammadu Buhari for approving this extension and for his leadership and statesmanship.
“In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.
“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.
“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time,” the statement said.
My role in deadline extension – Tinubu
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Amed Bola Tinubu has said his intervention in the deadline for the use of old naira notes prompted the extension of by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Tinubu stated this when he led other members of his campaign entourage on a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare ll, in his palace in Benin City, Edo state.
He said, “let me apologise to all the chiefs, respected leaders and traditional rulers for waiting since morning till now.
“This is not intentional but because of national politics. Some of your cousins, wives selling garden eggs, carrots roasted corn need money and if naira is canceled, and we failed to intervene, then we have failed in our duty.
“We have been on this for three days. And, suddenly, in the afternoon, out of great respect, the presidency considered our request for extension. I was running back and forth calling him.
“So, that is what we have been doing. Luckily, even though we didn’t get everything we wanted, we got an extension for a number of days,” he stated.
Announcing the extension Sunday in Daura, Katsina state, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele said the president gave the approval after a meeting.
Emefiele said President Buhari urged more time, discretion and order to enable Nigerians successfully change their currencies to the redesigned notes, and reduce the risk of loss, especially among the underserved in rural areas.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the CBN governor said the currency swap had achieved more than 75 per cent success rate of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system, with evident drop in rate of inflation, more stability of foreign exchange rates, and noticeable impact on security, especially in banditry and kidnapping figures.
“First, I will like to thank Mr. President for giving the CBN the approval to embark on this ambitious programme because, like I said, in the past, the CBN has not had the opportunity to embark on such currency redesign programme in last 19 years and indeed, let me emphasize, that only an incorruptible leader of the President’s stature can give such approval to the CBN,” he said.
The CBN governor noted that redesigns were supposed to be every five to eight years.
“Our aim is mainly to make Monetary Policy Decisions more efficacious and as you can see; we have started to see inflation trending downwards and exchange rates relatively stable.