The Leadership of the National Assembly has again stressed the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow the old and new Naira notes to be used concurrently to cushion the hardship being experienced by citizens.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, made this position known when he fielded questions from State House correspondents on Friday in Abuja.
Lawan stressed the need to have another look at the policy on the redesign of Nigeria’s currency, saying that doing so will reduce the hardship currently being faced by citizens in accessing the new currency notes.
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He said: ”For us in the Senate, initially we felt that this policy is not a bad policy but we are also feeling that there is no need for any time limit; allow the old and the new notes to co-exist until the old is phased out.
“This is not going to be the first country to do it that way. Other countries have been doing it that way.
”To say that in three months it will be okay, it is not okay, especially in a country like ours where 80-90 per cent of the population have no access to banks,” he said.
According to the Senate President, now is the time to take a decision on the matter and have a second look at its mode of implementation.
“We had a private audience with the President after the Council of State meeting where we informed him in detail the resolutions of the two chambers of the National Assembly with respect to the redesign of our currency and the crisis of exchange or swap of the old currency with the new one.
“It is a known fact to everyone how life has been so difficult for the majority of Nigerians, especially the most ordinary Nigerians across the country.
”We felt that this is the time to take a decision that will ease the problems Nigerians are facing with respect to this,” he added.
Lawan, who was accompanied by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said they advised that any policy that would be introduced must have a human component that will make it friendly to the livelihood of the people.