New Naira: President Buhari Blames Banks, Extends Deadline to April 10
During a nationwide broadcast on February 16, 2023, President Muhammed Buhari instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to prolong the deadine for the use of old N200 notes until April 10, 2023.
The President expressed his disappointment with the unintended outcomes caused by banking staff in the implementation of the new monetary policy, resulting in a shortage of the naira. He urged the CBN to deploy all legitimate resources and legal means to ensure that Nigerians were adequately educated on the policy and had easy access to cash withdrawal and the ability to make deposits.
To address the issue of naira scarcity, the President directed the CBN to ensure that old N200 notes were released back into the economy and allowed to circulate as legal tender along the new N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes until the new deadline elapses. All existing old N1000 and N500 notes would remain redeemable at the CBN and designated points. The President stated that this was in accordance with Section 20(3) of the CBN Act 2007.
The President also urged Nigerians to be patient and understanding during the difficult transition phase of the monetary policy. He assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to assess the implementation of the policy to ensure that citizens were not unnecessarily burdened. In this regard, the CBN would ensure that the new notes became more available and accessible to citizens through the banks.
The President’s directive is a step towards addressing the challenges faced by Nigerians in accessing cash, and the extension of the deadline and the reintroduction of the old N200 notes could provide relief to Nigerians. The directive to hold accountable any person or institution that impedes or sabotages the implementation of the policy is also commendable, as it shows the government’s commitment to ensuring that the policy is implemented effectively.
President Buhari’s directive to the CBN comes at a time when over burdened Nigerians are yearning for some relief as they continue to adjust to the new monetary policy. The President’s call for patience and understanding during this transition phase is also important, and it is hoped that Nigerians will continue to support the government’s efforts to strengthen the economy and improve the standard of living of its citizens.
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