By Ini John-Mekwa
The Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele on Friday insisted that the apex bank will not extend the deadline for swapping old naira notes with the newly redesigned ones.
He made this known during a special briefing at the CBN office in Lagos, saying that the CBN and other stakeholders are already looking to address areas where there are pressures.
“I would say no. I am sure that people are going to say only last week I said no, but I want to say unfortunately again, this time we will not be looking at an extension of the deadline because we as the central bank, deposit money banks and other important stakeholders, we are looking at areas where there is pressure and we are doing everything possible to address those areas of pressure.
“We have had cases where some bank branches have some cash in their vaults and because there was no demand for them and we asked central bank officials when reported to move those monies away and move them to areas where there is pressure. So those are some of the logistical challenges that we faced and we are doing everything possible to address them. So I am not going to make any promise to anyone that there would be any further extension of this deadline,” Emefiele said.
CBN Aware Of Nigerians’ Pains
Emefiele also said that the apex bank acknowledged the pains Nigerians are facing in accessing the new naira notes.
According to the CBN governor, the apex bank will extend cash swaps to microfinance banks and engage 30,000 super agents in the hinterlands as part of new measures to accelerate the circulation of new naira notes.
He stated that the CBN is discussing with banks to make alternative Channels easily accessible.
Earlier on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari asked Nigerians to give him seven days to resolve the cash crunch following the CBN redesigning of the naira notes.
He said this while speaking to the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) who visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to seek solutions to the cash crunch which they said was threatening the good records of the administration in transforming the economy.
President Buhari told the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors that the currency re-design will give a boost to the economy and provide long-term benefits.
He also expressed doubts about the commitment of banks in particular to the success of the policy.