Finance Minister Likens Hardship Caused By Old Naira Deadline To Injury

Finance Minister Likens Hardship Caused By Old Naira Deadline To Injury

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The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has described the current distress experienced by Nigerians due to the unavailability of the redesigned Naira as a sore that would eventually be cured.

Ahmed said the Federal Government is worried about the struggle among Nigerians to lay their hands on their money, but the decision to redesign the Naira is necessary for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recover some currency in circulation.

She addressed the situation during the 65th State House briefings coordinated by the Presidential Media Team, in Abuja, on Thursday, 2, February 2023.

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According to the minister, amid the commotion there are gains, so Nigerians should be patient as the process will soon come to an end.

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Ahmed reiterated the statement of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, that Nigerians will still be able to return the old Naira after the deadline set for 10 February 2023. 

Recall that the central bank had initially stated that 31, January 2023, was the deadline to phase out the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes for the redesigned currencies released in December 2023. 

Following criticism from the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Nigerians, the financial regulator extended the deadline by 10 days. 

During her public remark on Thursday, Ahmed said: “Of course we are worried, we are not happy that citizens have to queue and struggle to get their cash but this is a temporary situation. 

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“Let me give you an analogy, this situation can be compared to a patient having a sore and while treating the sore, you must apply some iodine or spirit which is usually very painful. 

“Mr President is not happy that citizens are suffering but come the closing date which the Central Bank of Nigeria has given, it will not all be over as a window still exists for people to return their old notes. 

“There is also the positive side to it, which is that a lot of currency has been mopped up back into the system.”

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