The Senate on Wednesday said the deadline of Tuesday, January 31, 2023, given by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to pay all cash in circulation into banks was too short.
This is as the upper chamber promised to provide legislative support for the policy of CBN to redesign the naira.
The resolution of the Senate followed a motion made on the policy by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, Senator Sani Uba, on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
The Senate 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.
The lawmakers insisted that such mass awareness would help Nigerians in the rural areas to comply with the policy so as not to lose their hard-earned income.
Recall that CBN governor Godwin Emefiele in October announced plans to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes.
Emefiele said that it is worrisome that 85 per cent of the currency in circulation is being hoarded by Nigerians.
He further urged Nigerians to proceed to their banks to deposit their Naira notes, adding that the deposit fee would be waived for transactions below N150,000.
Emefiele added that the redesigning of Naira notes would help to curb counterfeit notes, as well as hamper ramson payment to terrorists and kidnappers.
The Senate on Wednesday urged the CBN to put measures in place in the face of ubiquitous Financial Technology (FinTech) to ensure that the local populace are able to bank their cash with ease within the stipulated time.
The lawmakers 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.
Majority of Senators across party lines support the redesign of the naira but some of them are concerned about the deadline set by the apex bank for the old notes to be deposited in commercial banks.
Two days ago, the CBN said it has made provisions for Nigerians living in rural areas to exchange their naira notes as the bank moves to redesign 200, 500 and 1,000 notes.
CBN insisted that the measure will help check inflation, counterfeiting and the amount of money outside of the banking system.