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Uproar in Senate over Naira redesign

By John Akubo, Abuja
16 November 2022   |   1:49 pm
The floor of the Senate was turned into a noisome session on Wednesday over the plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign higher denominations of naira notes. Recall that on October 26, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the redesign of the N1,000, N500, and N200 notes. Governor of the CBN Godwin…
Nigeria Senate

National Assembly. Photo/facebook/TopeBrown/NigerianSenate

The floor of the Senate was turned into a noisome session on Wednesday over the plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign higher denominations of naira notes.

Recall that on October 26, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the redesign of the N1,000, N500, and N200 notes.

Governor of the CBN Godwin Emefiele had asked bank customers to start paying their current notes to enable them to withdraw the new banknotes once circulation begins on December 15, 2022, while announcing the issuance of the new naira notes.

It had set January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the acceptance of the current naira notes.

During a debate on a motion sponsored by Senator Uba Sani (APC, Kaduna) Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and others called for the extension of the deadline to April 30, 2023, saying the deadline was too short.

Senator Kalu asked the Senate to invite the CBN governor to throw more light on the policy while he should be persuaded to extend the deadline.

But Senator Gabriel Suswan (PDP, Benue) disagreed with Kalu and others saying the CBN Governor has always failed to honour Senate invitations.

The former Governor of Benue state asked his colleagues to overlook the CBN policy and let the country damn the consequences.

Senator Bassey Akpan stressed the need to support the CBN Governor. He said there should be no discussion on the matter.
The upper legislative Chamber degenerates into a rowdy after Suswan and Akpan’s submissions which may not have gone down well with the lawmakers seeking an extension of the deadline, causing.

However, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary restored normalcy It took persistent appeals.

The Senate, after the debate, resolved to provide legislative support for the CBN on the policy.

The Red Chamber also called for aggressive enlightenment on the part of the CBN especially in the rural areas to ensure that all Nigerians are made aware of the new policy.

It insisted that such mass awareness creation would help Nigerians in the rural areas to comply with the policy so as not to lose their hard-earned income.

It said such a measure would also ensure the security of the local population who might be waylaid and dispossessed of their cash by criminal elements like bandits and insurgents.

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