Why CBN gave in to pressure on the deadline for the naira note swap

Why CBN gave in to pressure on the deadline for the naira note swap

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which had earlier vowed not to extend the January 31 deadline for the exchange of the old naira notes, eventually gave in to pressure on Sunday.

At a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday in Abuja, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele ruled out the postponement.

“Unfortunately, I don’t have good news for those who say we should shift the deadline.” We do not see any reason to begin to talk about a shift. We believe 100 days is more than adequate,” Emefiele had said.

Security reports, according to DAILY POST research, showed that Nigerians were growing more and more outraged about the non-availability of the new naira notes.

The anger increased as market vendors, dealers, artists, farmers, transporters, hawkers, and other members of the informal sector—which employs the majority of workers—complained of slow sales and patronage.

According to a source, the Federal Government and the CBN have no alternative but to submit to any potential uprising by the public.

“I don’t know why they delayed the shift till now, it should have been before the weekend. See how everyone was panicking about the cash shortage.

“On Friday, Muslims were complaining that the government was starving them of money. Today, some Pastors openly expressed frustration that people are getting stranded.

“So religious leaders, their followers, and others are not happy with the CBN. Look at all the pressure and criticisms from all corners. Security reports favoured an extension,” he disclosed.

DAILY POST conducted a poll in Lagos that found that respondents faced difficulties trying to withdraw money from ATMs throughout the previous week.

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It was found that many banks in the State set an N4,000 withdrawal limit for cards belonging to other banks.

Residents of both the Mainland and the Island attested to the adjustment, with one recounting the anxiety he felt prior to being able to obtain money that was insufficient.

“I live in Lekki but the places to withdraw cash were few on Friday night. The branches available had only one ATM working with very long queues.

“I drove to VI and could only withdraw N4,000 from a Heritage Bank branch. They said that’s the limit for other banks. Since I use Zenith Bank, I went to their ATM Gallery on Ajose Adeogun.

“There you can withdraw up to N30,000 with their card but the limit for other banks is N5,000. I stayed in the queue but when it was almost my turn, there was no money left. Everyone left disappointed”, said Kingsley, a company staff.

The fact that Point of Sale, or PoS, operators do not have enough money to meet demand adds to the shortage of currency.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, however, said that the crisis was engineered to hurt his prospects of winning the election, giving the naira shortage a new dimension.

“Hide the petrol, hide the naira, we will still vote! We will win,” the former Lagos governor said last week at a campaign rally in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun.

“Even if you change the ink on naira notes, what you want will not happen. We will win. That umbrella party will lose. We will take this government from them, saboteurs that are dragging power with us.”

Despite saying “this government”, Tinubu later rubbished comments by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that the outburst was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.

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