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Old Naira: Buhari, Governors Meet, To Decide On Extension In 7 Days

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President Muhammadu Buhari met with Governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on Friday, 3, February 2023, over the prolonged scarcity of Naira notes in Nigeria.

The governors visited the State House in Abuja to compel President Buhari to override the deadline decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele. 

Prime Business Africa reported that Emefiele extended the deadline to phase out the Naira by 10 days from the initial deadline of 31, January 2023. 

CBN had given Nigerians two months to exchange the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes with the redesigned Naira notes released in December 2022. 

However, days before the initial deadline, banks were still dispensing old notes and complained of insufficient new currencies. But following CBN’s decision to fine banks dispensing old notes, the lenders have stopped offering them to the public. 

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Consequently, scarcity hit the banks, as they don’t have enough new higher denomination notes. This has caused a commotion in the banks, with people protesting. 

In a bid to resolve the situation, governors of the 36 states in Nigeria sent representatives to hold talks with Emefiele two weeks ago. However, the apex bank boss ignored their plea for a lengthy extension. 

On Friday, February 3, 2023, the ruling party governors from Ebonyi, Ogun, Imo, Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, and Niger met with Buhari to table their appeal for further extension of the deadline. 

They requested that President Buhari should order CBN to allow the old Naira to remain legal alongside the new currencies to bring an end to the suffering of Nigerians struggling to access their funds. 

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It was gathered that they demanded the new Naira and old banknotes circulate at the same time, as their constituents are angry over the insufficient currencies. 

According to the governors, the scarcity of the Naira will impact the economy and ensure the integrity of the upcoming elections in February this year. 

Meanwhile, President Buhari asked the governors to give him seven days to make his findings regarding the factors causing the scarcity of the Naira. He said a decision will be made on the extension within that time frame.

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