Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has appealed to the House of Representatives to show understanding and allow the new cashless policy succeed in the interest of Nigeria’s economy.
Emefiele who bowed to pressure and made appearance before the ad-hoc committee of the House, making intervention over the deadline set by the CBN for the old N200, N500 and N1,000 to be exchanged for the redesigned, on Tuesday, also assured that the apex bank will act in line with the law, to redeem the old notes at face value after the expiration of the new deadline of February 10, 2023, when they will cease to be legal tenders.
The House had been angry with the CBN boss over his failure to honour its invitation, and threatened last Thursday to issue a warrant of arrest to the Inspector General of Police to compel his appearance.
When he finally appeared, he said of the drive towards cashless economy that “There may be challenges at the initial time, there may be glitches here and there, but the ultimate beneficiary is the Nigerian economy. Please allow this policy to work.”
He said the continuous redemption was in tandem with the Act establishing the CBN, precisely Section 20 (3) of the law, stressing that essence of the policy was to mop up the old notes in circulation, adding that the CBN stood side by side with the House on the position of the law.
“We will provide all the reports as requested by the committee, we will also look at all the suggestions and respond. Overtime, we will come back at the long run and celebrate,” Emefiele stated when asked to funish the committee with records of the new notes disbursement to the commercial banks.
He however did not respond to the question of when exactly the apex bank will allow over-the-counter withdrawal of the new notes across banks
He further made clarifications on the insufficient circulation of the redesigned naira notes, noting that the notes are now in circulation across the country through CBN staff and bank agents in local government areas, pointing out that the exercise has achieved about 75% success in the villages.
After his submissions, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Alhassan Doguwa, commended the effort of the apex bank, faulted his failure to furnish the panel with all the need details as early as necessary.
“If you had come with this explanation, there wouldn’t be need for this engagement”, he said.