Old Naira Notes: House Committee rejects 10-day extension, Vows to arrest Emefiele
The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on new naira re-design and naira swap policy has rejected the 10-day extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the exchange of old naira notes for new ones.
The CBN had fixed January 31, 2023, as the deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes; N200, N500 and N1000.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele on Sunday, said President Muhammadu Buhari gave permission for the deadline to be extended to February 10.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Majority Leader, House of Representatives and Chairman, Adhoc Committee on new naira re-design and naira swap policy, and issued on Sunday.
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In its swift reaction, the Adhoc Committee, chaired by the leader of the House, Ado Doguwa, rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act.
The House, during its sitting on Tuesday, following the outcry by Nigerians, constituted the ad hoc committee to look into the issue.
Doguwa said, “The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution: We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the House, would only accept clear compliance with section 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN act and nothing more.
“Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the Adhoc committee.”
He said under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land.
Describing the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, Doguwa said the CBN governor must appear before or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs signed by the Speaker on Monday.
He also described the policy as capable of frustrating the forthcoming general elections.
“Security agencies and their operations especially at the states level are generally funded through cash advances and direct table payments of allowances to operatives during elections,” he said.