Atiku seeks extension to naira swap deadline


Nigerians living in the rural areas will find it impossible to meet the January 31 deadline for them to exchange their old naira notes for the new ones, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had earlier set the date as deadline, after which the old currencies of N1000, N500 and N200 will cease to become legal tender.

Amidst pleas and concerns by Nigerians and other key stakeholders, the apex bank through its Governor, Godwin Emefiele early in the week said the January 31 date remained sacrosanct.

Atiku, said the deadline would cause heavy discomfort for the people.

The PDP presidential flag bearer said this via a video shared on his social media accounts on Saturday.


He stated that it would be magnanimous on the part of the government and the regulatory agencies to ease the burden on the people in the public interest by extending the deadline.

“The ongoing policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign the naira has generated wide reactions across the country and beyond.

“This exercise is a world-well practice and therefore not anything new, especially as the January 31st deadline draws closer, a great number of Nigerians have expressed apprehension about how the policy and the deadline will make life difficult for Nigerians.

“The large number of our bank population who do their businesses, especially in the rural areas, will find it almost impossible to meet up with the deadline of January 31st to exchange their old bank notes for the redesigned currencies.

“I’m aware of the challenges that farmers and others like artisans in remote areas of the country go through in moving cash to commercial banks for the conversion.

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

“The January 31st deadline is certainly going to cause heavy discomfort on our people and it would be magnanimous on the part of the government and the regulatory agencies to ease the burden on the people in the public interest.

“While we can continue sensitising the public on the impending imperative of mobile banking policy, it is important for the CBN to consider an extension of the time that the public can convert their bank monies into new notes thereby reducing financial consequences on these vulnerable citizens.

“I believe that such a painful experience is not the intention behind the currency redesign initiative,” the former Vice President stated.