New naira notes: Atiku calls for extension, says deadline causing hardship

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has called for extension of the deadline by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to phase out old naira notes in circulation.

The apex bank had issued January 31 as the deadline the old naira notes will stop being legal tender, insisting it would not extend the period.

There has been tension across the country as many banks have been overcrowded with Nigerians who want to deposit their old naira notes.

Most banks across the country have little deposit of the new naira notes few days to the deadline, prompting calls for the CBN to extend the date.

Atiku in a short video released on social media on Saturday, said the deadline is creating hardship on Nigerians.

The former vice president noted that redesigning of currency is a normal thing across the world, hence the situation in Nigeria is not unusual but rather the January 31 deadline is creating hardship on the people.

He said, “The ongoing policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the naira notes has generated wild reactions across the country and beyond.

“This exercise is a worldwide practice and not anything new, especially as the January 31 deadline draws closer, a large number of Nigerians out of good conscience have expressed apprehension about how the policy and the deadline will make life more difficult for Nigerians.

‘’Many Nigerians, especially farmers, artisans and those in the rural areas do not have bank accounts, so the time frame for the change of old notes to new ones is not achievable.”

He appealed for the extension of the deadline so as to address the situation of hardship facing the people.

“On this note, I am compelled to align with the upsurge of demands for a slight extension of the monetary conversion policy.

“The January 31 deadline is certainly going to cause a heavy discomfort on our people and it will be magnanimous on the part of the government and the regulatory agency to ease the burden on the people for the public interest,” he said.

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