PEOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline for the use of old naira notes.
Old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes will cease to be recognized as legal tender by January 31, the deadline set by the CBN.
The former Vice President called for the extension of the deadline in a short video clip posted on his Twitter account on Saturday, January 28.
In the video seen by The ICIR, Atiku noted that the deadline of the naira redesign policy has made life difficult for many Nigerians.
While applauding the monetary conversion policy as a worldwide practice, Atiku stressed that the deadline was not well considered and should be slightly adjusted.
“The ongoing policy of the CBN to redesign the naira notes has generated wide reactions across the country and beyond,” he said
“This exercise is a worldwide practice and nothing new with it especially as the January 31st deadline draws closer.
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“A great number of Nigerians out of good conscience have expressed apprehension about how the policy and the deadline will make life difficult for them.
“I’m also aware of the challenges farmers and artisans in remote areas go through in moving cash to the commercial banks for exchange.
“The deadline is going to cause heavy discomfort for Nigerians. It will be magnanimous for the Federal Government and the regulatory body to ease the burden of the people while we can continue to sensitise the public on the imperative of 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 painful experience is not the intention behind the initiative.”
Despite appeals by the National Assembly to the CBN to extend the January 31 deadline for the acceptance of the old naira notes, the apex bank has remained defiant, insisting there is no going back.
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Bank Customers Association of Nigeria (BCAN) and a host of other stakeholders have also expressed concerns and made appeals for CBN to extend the period for the currency swap as well as review of the cashless policy.
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