Earlier today, Nigeria’s central bank announced the extension of the deadline for replacing old naira notes from January 31st to February 10, 2023.
Nairametrics reported that CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said he met with President Buhari on Sunday, January 29th to brief him on development. The 10-day extension was the outcome of that meeting.
The extension is coming after many pleas from legislators, traditional rulers, governors, presidential aspirants, politicians, and Nigerians in general for an extension of the deadline.
The Nigerian Senate specifically lobbied for a six-month extension to ensure the informal economy does not suffer.
Nigerians react: The news of the extension has brought mixed reactions from Nigerians. While some people saw it as a relief for average Nigerians, others think it is a victory for politicians who demanded more time in a bid to buy votes for the upcoming 2023 elections.
Dr Sam Amadi, a Financial Analyst at Arise TV first, said the reason the Senate words could not effect the change is that they lack the legislative power to reverse the monetary policy. He said:
- “You cannot make or reverse monetary policy through Senate resolutions. You can amend CBN Act if you can. Till then Governor & BOG make monetary policy.It is a nullity. It is plain nonsense. It is not even legislation. Desperation leading to misuse of the legislative process.”
Despite the despair that the extension could enable vote buying during the upcoming election, some people still believe it is a good thing. One of those in support of the extension is Okwudili Ugwuja who noted that it’s all good “so long as the deadline ends before the election. Buying votes would still be affected.”
Meanwhile, Faisal Umar Kaita, an academic, called on local politicians to enlighten the rural population and informal businesses on the need to open bank accounts, he said:
- “Politicians/community leaders, if they’re sincere, should now use this window to enlighten the rural population + informal businesses on the need to open bank accounts. Small businesses should get POS asap to make sure they don’t go under after Feb 10th.”
More Relief: Nigerians also responded with relief citing that their lives had already been made hell as they tried adjusting for the deadline. @TheNonye said: “I’m sorry but all of you are not okay. You deliberately made people’s lives hard for no reason.”
@eyesbaebi said she had paid a charge of N2,000 to withdraw N20,000 from a POS vendor, stating
“So, after the POS agent charged me 2k for 20,000 to get new notes yesterday, these people have extended it by 10 days?.”
Some said the exploitative behaviour was used by POS vendors to fleece Nigerians, due to monetary policy scares. Producer and Voice artist, @Britz588 said:
“Wickedness is innate in every Nigerian, imagine people selling new Naira notes, N1500 for every N5000 you withdraw. At the slightest opportunity, we tend to rip ourselves, even with the slightest authority upgrade, we’ve become demigods, Nigerians make up Nigeria.