A Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, has asked the Federal Government to extend the deadline for acceptance of the old Naira notes by “at least three months”.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that Afenifere asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the deadline because Nigeria is in a critical moment.
Recall that the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes entered into circulation on December 15, 2022, and were scheduled to have replaced the old designs by January 31st as legal tender.
The change, according to the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele was introduced to tackle currency counterfeiting and terrorism financing among other vices in the country.
However, Emefiele subsequently announced the extension of the deadline by 10 days, saying the extension had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Since last week, protests have been recorded in Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Enugu, and Oyo states. Some turned violent.
According to Afenifere, the February 10 deadline is “certainly unrealistic”.
Daily Trust quotes the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Jare Ajayi as saying: “This is a momentous period in Nigeria given the number of lives that have been lost, given the number of businesses that have collapsed and are in danger as a result of the unavailability of naira.
“People are queuing in the banks to get the cash – they don’t (even) get the cash.
“And within the next few weeks, we would be undergoing elections
“We are saying that first, CBN must flood the commercial banks with cash, especially new currencies. Two, the deadline must be extended. February 10 is certainly unrealistic. It must be extended for at least the next three months.
“Afenifere is insisting that February 10 is unrealistic for Nigerians to be able to get the currencies.
“Also the need to ensure free, fair and credible elections must attract the attention of the council of state. So that tomorrow we would hear that the president has extended the deadline for the currency swap from February 10 to at least the next three months and then, of course, all necessary machinery must be put in place to ensure free, fair and credible elections.”