As the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) 31 January 2023 deadline for completely phasing out old naira notes in circulation draws near, economic experts have warned that refusing to extend this deadline would lead to disastrous outcomes for the nation’s economy.
This call adds to those made by various stakeholders, such as the National Assembly, asking for an extension of the deadline to June.
During a plenary session, Senator Ali Ndume raised a motion for the Senate to address this issue and it was supported by his peers.
When contacted about further information on the naira redesign deadline policy, CBN’s director of Corporate Communications, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, said he could not respond as he was currently attending the bank’s Monetary Policy Meeting.
Dr Muda Yusuf, CEO of Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), remarked that anything short of extending the deadline is an infringement on citizens’ fundamental human rights.
Given all of these inadequacies and logistical gaps, it is inappropriate for CBN to stick with its current plan so soon without allowing more time for a smoother transition.
The Financial Expert Idakolo Gbolade added that failure to figure out alternative solutions beyond just commercial banks could result in great losses for unknowing citizens if dynamics remain unchanged.
Accounting and Financial Development Don at Lead City University Prof Godwin Oyedokun also asserted that rescinding this initial proposal would be necessary- given the lack of availability or circulation of new notes- in order to prevent unwitting Nigerians from suffering due to governmental inefficiencies and mishandling.
President Muhammadu Buhari must add his voice in advocating an extension on behalf of society; otherwise this ultimately has threatening consequences on our aggregate economy statewide.
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