Financial experts have commended the Central Bank of Nigeria for the decision to shift the deadline that was set to phase out the old notes from December 31 to February 10.
Following the plea made by key stakeholders across the country, the 36 state governors, the Arewa Consultative Forum, traditional rulers, the Nigerian Bar Association, and citizens of the country, CBN finally made the decision on Sunday to extend the deadline.
The president, Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, who is also the country’s first professor of Capital Market, Uche Uwaleke, spoke with The Punch on Sunday stating that the CBN was concerned about Nigerians and have listened to their plea regarding the extension.
In his words “The revision of the cash withdrawal limits confirms that the apex bank is following up issues and means well for Nigerians.
“This deadline extension will reduce the queues at the ATM, reduce panic and uncertainty among small business owners in remote areas and more importantly, allow more time for the new naira notes to circulate while the old ones returned to the CBN given that about N900 billion is still outside the banks as revealed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.”
According to The Punch, Uwaleke also emphasized that the new deadline was set before the February 25 presidential election in order to decrease vote-buying and to discourage the current practice of rejecting the old notes despite the fact that they were still considered legal tenders.
He praised the CBN for taking the initiative and President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.) for approving the extension.
Dr. Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, chief executive officer of Taurus Capital Limited and a member of the investment banking industry, expressed his opinion that the monetary conversion policy was laudable because it had lessened the frequency with which kidnappers demanded exorbitant sums of money to free their victims.
He also added that he politicians who were hoarding cash to influence voters in the upcoming election would have no choice but to deposit their old notes or risk losing everything due to the policy.
Obiaraeri said. “The records by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Bureau of Statistics and CBN show that over 133 million multidimensional poor Nigerians and over 178 million Nigerians do not earn more than N60,000 per month and do not have enough to feed in a day with the level of the country’s economic inflation.”
He stressed that “The CBN should also engage KPMG Advisory Services, PWC, and Deloitte to conduct a quick random sampled crash audit within the next seven days to ascertain what commercial banks did with the old notes deposited and the new ones disbursed to them by the apex bank.”