January 30, 2023

Naira swap: APC PCC, Uwaleke commend Emefiele on 10-day deadline extension, CPPE disagrees

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

•Deadline puts N100trn national output at risk —CPPE

Extension portrays CBN as responsive, sensitive —Prof Uche Uwaleke

By Yinka Kolawole, Nkiruka Nnorom & Omeiza Ajayi

The Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and Uche Uwaleke, Professor of Finance & Capital Market at Nasarawa State University have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and its governor, Godwin Emefiele, for hearkening to the voice of Nigerians on the need to extend the deadline for the swap of old Naira notes for new ones.

But  Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, CPPE, disagreed, saying even the 10 days deadline was grossly inadequate to m itigate the debilitating effects of the swap on businesses.

However, the Director, Media and Publicity at APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga said in a statement yesterday:  “We want to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria and governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele for listening to the voice of well meaning Nigerians on the exigency of extending the deadline for change of old N200, N500 and N1000 naira notes to the new ones.”

Following difficulties experienced by Nigerians across the country from getting the new notes via Automated Teller Machines ATMs and over the counter from Deposit Money Banks, many Nigerians had faulted the policy and requested an extension of the January 31 deadline.

In the statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the APC PCC said its candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, had shown great leadership in being very vociferous in calling for the extension of the deadline.

The statement read:  “We welcome the 10 days extension of deadline and the additional seven days of grace.

“This window will enable Nigerians especially those in rural and remote areas to have more time to change their old notes and avert the panic that would have followed.

“We specially commend President Muhammadu Buhari for approving this extension and for his leadership and statesmanship.

“In the same vein, we praise our presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his forthrightness in addressing the concerns of Nigerians at his campaign rally in Abeokuta last week.

“Asiwaju Tinubu didn’t take the easy road by shying away from what would have caused serious inconvenience for our teeming masses.

“Asiwaju showed leadership and compassion for the welfare of Nigerians, at the most appropriate time.”

Extension portrays CBN as responsive, sensitive —Prof. Uche Uwaleke

Consenting with APC PCC,  Uche Uwaleke, Professor of Finance & Capital Market at Nasarawa State University, said the extension of the deadline for notes swap by the CBN till February 10, 2023, with additional seven days grace period, was a welcome development and portrayed the CBN as a responsive organisation that was sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians.

He commended the CBN and the President Muhammadu Buhari for giving approval for an extension, saying that it goes to demonstrate that the currency redesign was not designed abinitio to foist hardship on Nigerians.

He said: “This deadline extension will reduce the queues at the ATM, reduce panic and uncertainty among small business owners in particular and more importantly allow more time for the new naira notes to circulate and more of the old ones returned to the CBN given that about N900 billion is still outside the banks as revealed by the CBN Governor.

“The fact that the new deadline is before the February 25 election is laudable as the measure will help reduce vote buying.”