Old naira notes: Atiku asks CBN to extend deadline

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The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend its January 31 deadline for the swap of old naira notes for the new currencies.

The former Vice President made the call in a video message posted on his verified social media handles on Saturday.

He urged the government and regulatory agencies to extend the deadline due to the difficulties people go through in swapping the currencies, especially those in rural areas.

He said, “The ongoing policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the naira has generated wild reaction across the country, and beyond.

“This exercise is a worldwide practice, and there is nothing new with it especially as the January 31st deadline draws closer. A great number of Nigerians, out of good conscience, have expressed apprehension about how the policy and deadline will make life more difficult for them.

“The large numbers of our unbanked population, whose businesses, especially in rural areas, will find it almost impossible to meet up with the deadline of January 31st to change their old bank notes to the redesigned currencies.

“I’m aware of the challenges, the farmers and other artisans in remote areas in our country go through in moving cash to commercial banks.
“On this note, I’m compelled to align my position with the upsurge of demand for a slight extension of the monetary conversation policy.”

Speaking further, Atiku said, “the January 31st deadline will certainly cause heavy discomfort on our people.

“And it will be magnanimous on the part of government and the regulatory agency to ease the burden on the people in the public interest, while we can continue to sensitize the public on the imperative of the mobile banking policy.

“It is important for the CBN to consider an extension for the public to swap their old notes, thereby reducing the financial consequences on these vulnerable citizens. I believe that such a painful experience is not the intention behind the initiative.”