Reps Summon Banks Over New Naira Notes Scarcity

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The House of Representatives has moved to act over the scarcity of the new naira notes.

The Reps, on Tuesday, resolved to invite Deposit Money Banks, also known as commercial banks, on Wednesday over the scarcity of new naira notes.

The Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.

The House, at the plenary on Tuesday, resolved that the banks should be invited to explain the alleged supply shortage from the Central Bank of Nigeria, after which the lawmakers would invite the leadership of the apex bank for questioning.

The House further resolved that the window for swapping the old notes with the new ones be extended by six months.

The resolution followed the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by a member of the House from Katsina State, Sara Soli, at the opening of the session.

Soli noted that the CBN was insisting on the January 31 validity deadline for the new N1,000, N500 and N200 notes despite that Nigerians have limited access to them.

The PUNCH had reported on Monday that eight days to the January 31 deadline, banks’ Automated Teller Machines in Lagos, Abuja, and other parts of the country were still dispensing the old notes.

Despite the CBN and depositing banks’ assurances that Nigerians would begin to receive the new naira notes from ATMs across different platforms, findings as of Sunday showed that many ATMs belonging to the financial institutions were dispensing the old notes.

The House had in December summoned Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, over the latest policy by the apex bank which, among others, set limits to cash withdrawals from banks and other financial institutions.

After Emefiele failed to appear before the House on two occasions, the lawmakers had instead grilled Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria, Aisha Ahmad, who led the Committee of Governors before the lawmakers.

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