Naira Deadline Extension: Nigerians commend CBN, envisage smoother transition

Some bank customers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the extension of the deadline for the currency swap.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBN with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday extended the deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb.10.
Some of the customers who spoke to NAN in Abuja on Monday said the extension would avail time for the new notes to be in circulation adequately.
Mr Simon Imuadu, a motorcyclist and a bank customer, said the CBN acted according to the yearnings of citizens.
Imuadu said the move would stop further exploitation by Point of Sale (PoS) agents.
”This is a very good idea because PoS operators use us to enrich themselves.
”A PoS operator collected extra N600 charge from me for the N2,000 I withdrew on Saturday just because I asked for new naira notes.
”My colleague even said it is worse in their area. I was mad with the operator and I quarelled with him, but he told me to go to my bank and shout like that.
”I hope that with this extension, banks will have more of the new naira notes for us to withdraw,” he said.
Another customer, Mrs Ifesinachi Adure, said the extension would help reduce the rush and queues at bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) spots.
Adure who appealed to the CBN to make more of the new notes available, said the extension would help the notes circulate, especially to the rural areas.
Another customer and a student, Miss Faith Iduoha, said the initial deadline of Jan. 31 affected some students as they were eager to get the new notes.
Iduoha said that some traders refused to collect the old naira notes even before the deadline.
”I missed some of my lectures on Friday because I was trying to use the ATM machine to collect the new notes.
”Some traders in my school refused to collect the old notes.
”I was very hungry and needed to eat something but did not have the new notes to spend, so, I had to go stand on the ATM queue for hours,” she said.
NAN reports that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele had said that the approval for the extension by Buhari was due to measures put in place to ease scarcity of the new notes.
He also said that a seven-day grace period, would be given beginning from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17 in compliance with Sections 20(3) and 22 of the CBN Act.
Emefiele said the Act allowed Nigerians to deposit their old notes at the CBN after the February deadline when the old currency would have lost its Legal Tender status.
According to Emefiele, the CBN has taken some steps to achieve effective distribution of the new currency.
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