The Civic Consciousness Global Initiative (CCGI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to further extend the deadline for the swapping of old naira notes with the redesigned ones by six months.
Rev. Solomon Aderibigbe, Chairman of CCGI, made the call during a news conference tagged, “State of the Nation: Toward Making the Right Choices in the 2023 Elections”, organised by the NGO.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had on Sunday said that the apex bank sought and obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the deadline to Feb. 10.
CBN had earlier given Jan. 31, as deadline for people to deposit the old notes in their possession in banks.
Aderibigbe said it was necessary to further extend the deadline as many Nigerians had yet to maximally access the new notes.
He said it was also obvious that banks had not been able to circulate the new notes well enough.
He, however, urged government to consider the agony of the masses trying to access the new notes by way of extending the deadline until when the old notes are out of circulation.
“Good as the new currency policy may be, it has been hastily effected without the poor masses plights in mind.
“Government must be conscious it is dealing with over 200 million people all over diverse environment, most of which are not adequately banked.
“Government should also consider that banks still pay out in old currencies. So, extention is sacrosanct,” he said.
Also, Dr Sunday Makinde, Premate Emeritus of the Methodist Church, Nigeria, said it would be reasonable to yield to the previous advice of the legislators to give a six-month extension.
“I urge the government to sympatise with millions of Nigerians due to the anguish and pain of the current stampede of currency swap inflicted by an unrealistic timeline.
“We want government to listen to the counsel of our lawmakers, they have advised an extension of six months, this is enough time to ensure the new naira note is properly circulated for people to access easily.
“We have seen the good Nigeria and we want it back again, government really needs to have a rethink on this because the 10 days extension will not be enough,” he said. (NAN)