The Central Bank of Nigeria is under fresh pressure to extend the deadline for the naira redesign, according to the Coalition of Nigerian Opposition Parties.
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) is also accusing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other APC chieftains of sponsoring a bill pushing for six months extension.
The CUPP made the allegation during a press conference on Monday in Abuja.
Citing a document, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, CUPP’s spokesperson said that while innocent Nigerians are rushing to deposit the affected ahead of the printing of new notes by December 15, politicians who have hoarded money are trying to frustrate the policy.
Ugochinyere alleged, “Countrymen, how can the APC contemplate and frustrate the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank even after the president has given firm support to the policy?
“The APC is taking advantage of its control of the House of Representatives and has drafted an amendment for re-introduction into the House of Reps.
“The currency change procedure bill amendment 7 is being sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila (Speaker), Mohammed Tahir Monguno (representing Monguno/Marte/Nganzai constituency), Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (Owan West/East constituency ), Bamidele Salam (Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo constituency), Hon Benjamin Okezie Kalu (representing Bende constituency), Hon Oluwole Oke (representing Obokun/Oriade constituency) and Hon Amos Gwamna Magaji (Zangon Kataf/Jaba constituency).”
The Central Bank of Nigeria in October announced the redesign of the N1,000, N500, and N200 bills saying the currencies will cease to become legal tender by January 31, 2022.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele revealed that 85 per cent of the N3.2trn in circulation is out of the bank’s vaults with most of it being hoarded.
The CUPP said, “while innocent Nigerians are rushing to deposit their money in banks, they are trying to make a law that will shift the time to deposit money to six months after the general election.”
The coalition said the House Members are seeking urgent amendment of two laws “the Central Bank Act and the Decimal Currency Act in a currency change procedure bill 2022.”
Ugochinyere said the amendment will require a notice of at least three months before the apex bank CBN withdraw or redesign the currency.
Attempts by THE WHISTLER to get reactions from the Speaker were not successful as calls and text messages sent to his Spokesman, Mr Lanre Lasisi were not answered as of 2.58pm when the report was filed.