The Ad-hoc Committee on New Naira Re-Design and Naira Swap Policy of the House of Representatives has rejected the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) 10-day extension for swapping old naira notes.
In a statement issued on Monday, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano), insisted that the CBN must comply with the law on currency swaps.
Earlier, the CBN set January 31, 2023, as the deadline for exchanging old naira notes in denominations of N200, N500, and N1,000.
However, given the parliament’s and Nigerians’ calls for more time, the apex bank announced a 10-day extension on Sunday, as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reacting to the extension, Doguwa rejected the new February 10 deadline, insisting that the CBN must comply with Sections 20(b)(3), (4), and (5) of the CBN Act, which asks the bank to provide ‘reasonable time’ for the swapping of notes.
“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 from the house, would only accept clear compliance with Section 20 Subsections 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.”
“The House would go ahead and sign an arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to appear before the committee,” he said.
Doguwa stated that the committee would continue its work under his chairmanship until the demands of Nigerians were met in accordance with the laws of the land.
According to him, the extension is a “political gimmick” designed to deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social conditions.
He added that the policy has the potential to sabotage the upcoming general elections because security agencies pay operatives on duty over-the-counter allowances.
Doguwa stated that the CBN governor must appear in court or face arrest, citing legislative writs signed by the Speaker on Monday.