• Business - Economy
  • Updated: January 11, 2023

Redesigned Naira Notes: January 31 Deadline Unrealistic — Experts

Financial experts have expressed doubts over the January 31 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the stoppage of the circulation of the old Naira notes, saying it is unrealistic and the apex bank might be unable to meet the target.

Muda Yusuf, a Nigerian economist and Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), said the CBN had grossly underestimated what it takes to make currencies available across the country.

Yusuf said this Monday when he appeared on the Arise Television morning Show Programme.

He opined that the January 31 deadline set by the apex bank is unrealistic.

“The CBN should be a lot more sensitive to developments in the environment.

"Obviously, from what we can see, the evidence abounds everywhere; we are dealing with a situation of a capacity problem on the part of CBN, capacity in terms of the production of the new notes and capacity with respect to logistics.

“Obviously, the CBN has grossly underestimated what it takes to make these currencies available across the country.

"If we are getting these kinds of feedback and stories from cities such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano, what are we going to say about people in the more remote places in other states outside of these major cities?

“As I speak to you, I have not seen the new currency notes beyond what I see on the screen and things like that.

"Yet, we have practically just about three weeks to the deadline. This is clearly unrealistic, and I wonder if sometimes the CBN behaves as if they are on a different planet from where we are.

"This is obviously unrealistic; you see, the deadline is unrealistic.

"Frankly, I don’t understand what the rush is all about. I don’t know what they want to achieve.”

Also speaking,  Dr Anayochukwu Basil Chukwu, a Financial Expert, of the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, said CBN was not prepared for the policy directions that they have set out to achieve.

According to Chukwu, many Nigerians, especially those living in rural areas, are out of the banking sector which will make it difficult for them to cope with the new policy.

“The CBN is not prepared to do the needful. Their body language and policy direction have not been in favour of what they want to achieve.

“Actually, they want to make sure that the economy is placed on a very good footing, but as it is, it is like they are not prepared for the policy directions that they have set out for themselves.

“I think there is a need for them to shift the deadline because, as it stands, most people, even those in urban areas, are yet to access the new naira notes, not to talk of those who are in the villages.

“This policy, if they don’t shift or reverse it, will cause a lot of difficulties, especially for those who are not among the bankable communities because a lot of people are outside the banking sector.

“More than 30 million Nigerians, if I am not mistaken, are out of the banking sector, and if they don’t have bank accounts and all those things, I wonder how they will cope with the new policy direction.

“The central bank should, by virtue of the situation in the country, shift that deadline to make it more realistic.

The new naira notes launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 23, 2022, have been in circulation since December 15, 2022, and according to the CBN, the old notes would seize to be a legal tender starting from January 31, 2023.


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Felicia Abisola  Olamiji
Felicia Abisola Olamiji

  A graduate of English Language from Olabisi Onabanjo University, passionate about learning new...

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