The Senate committed a blunder on Wednesday when it requested the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently move the January 31, 2023, withdrawal deadline for obsolete currency notes to June 31, 2023. Regrettably, June contains 30 days rather than 31.
The resolution was passed by the upper house as a result of a point of order brought by Sen. Mohammed Ndume (APC-Borno) on Wednesday.
The CBN had on October 26, announced plans to redesign the 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes.
Sequel to the announcement by the apex bank, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes.
Invoking Senate Standing Rules 41 and 51, Ndume argued that the request for a date extension to June 31? should be treated as a matter of urgent national concern to prevent impending hardship on Nigerians.
Ndume said: “This senate notes that many Nigerian banks on Thursday, December 15, opened their vaults to customers and depositors to exchange their old currency notes for the newly redesigned currency notes which has a stipulated deadline of January 31.
“Some Nigerians are already envisaging long queues in the banking hall across the country as a result of people trying to get access to the new naira notes.”
The lawmaker also noted that access to the new notes would be compounded by recent circular by the CBN which limited the amount of cash withdrawal by corporate entities to withdraw within certain period of time.
According to Ndume, the withdrawal of old notes from circulation, if not extended beyond January 31, would throw many Nigerians into hardship; just as the call is to avoid repeat of the 1984 experience withdrawal of old notes.
Contributing, Sen. Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi) noted that “majority of our people live in rural areas where there are no banks and PoS. It is appropriate we extend the time as suggested in the motion.”

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