The Central Bank of Nigeria has been asked by the House of Representatives to extend the window for accepting old naira notes by six months.
Additionally, the House decided to invite the CBN, a few managing directors from various banks, and others to inform the leadership of the House about the availability of the notes.
The choice was made in response to a motion of urgent public importance made by Katsina State lawmaker Sada Soli.
He claimed that because traders have begun rejecting the old notes in his constituency, the CBN's deadline of January 31 is not realistic.
He claimed that the capacity to handle the rush is lacking in banks and other financial institutions.
Ahmed Jaha of Borno State addressed the House in support of the motion and said that CBN officials had visited his district to offer assistance, but that this was insufficient.
“The CBN is in my constituency helping people swap the old notes." The amount taken to my constituency, the amount is not enough. For 10 years, my constituents have not had access to banks.
“We have a lot to lose if the deadline is allowed to stand,” Jaha said.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, in his reaction to the motion, said there was a need for an investigation into what is stalling the disbursement of the new notes.
“CBN is making spirited efforts." They were at the central mosques in Lagos. I am not sure if it is enough. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The timing is what we have problems with.
“There is a need to review the policy." I think there is a need to add another prayer. The bank is saying they don’t have the money, but the CBN is saying they do. "We should invite the bank MDs to brief either the leadership or a small committee,” he said.
The House consequently resolved that an ad hoc committee headed by the Majority Leader, Hassan Doguwa, should meet with the invited MDs.