Cashless policy: Reps, CBN agree no time limit for old naira notes

Cashless policy: Reps, CBN agree no time limit for old naira notes

The House of Representatives and the Central Bank of Nigeria have agreed that a time limit will no longer apply to the validity of old naira notes after the expiration of the February 10 deadline set by the apex bank.

This means that the face value of the old N1000, N500 and N200 notes will continue to be redeemable in compliance with Section 20 (3) of the CBN Establishment Act.

Banks will continue to mop up the notes after they cease to be legal tender on February 10 without a time limit.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was directed to submit a weekly report on releases of the new notes to commercial banks so that the House could verify claims by the CEOs of the banks that the apex bank had not been releasing enough cash to them.

The CBN was also directed to restore over-the-counter transactions by the banks and increase Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash withdrawal limits in order to fast-track the circulation of the new notes.

The ad-hoc committee of the House looking into the cashless policy and the naira swap timeframe will continue to monitor the operations of the CBN in this regard to ensure compliance with the decisions of the House.

The House directed Emefiele to ensure that new naira notes are available across the Federation forthwith.

These decisions were taken on Tuesday by the House after the ad-hoc committee and Emefiele met at the National Assembly in Abuja.

After failing to appear before the Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa-led committee on two previous occasions, Emefiele appeared on Tuesday to brief the members on the cashless policy and currency swap timeframe.

The committee submitted a report on its engagement with Emefiele to the House, which later approved the recommendations as well as made additional recommendations.

The House, which was presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, had waded into when it became noticeable that new naira notes were not available in sufficient quantity as the earlier January 31 deadline set by the CBN to withdraw them drew close.

However, both sides agreed on Tuesday that the face value of the notes would continue to be redeemed beyond the new deadline of February 10 when they would have ceased to be legal tender.

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