The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to reconsider the January 31 deadline for the old notes to remain in circulation in the country.
The monarch who said this whole hosting the CBN Comptroller in charge of Sokoto State, Dahiru Usman, and some Apex bank officials on Thursday at his palace, adding that many people were still unaware of the redesigned naira notes, especially in the rural areas.
The old notes are expected to be out of circulation by January 31 yet there is scarcity of the new notes as banks keep dispensing old notes to their customers.
According to Daily Trust, the Sultan said, “We still have people who didn’t know that our naira was redesigned. They could reject the new naira notes when given. If they see the colours they will think it is a fake currency.
“The CBN ought to have considered stakeholders right from the day the redesigning was announced.
“We have credible means to disseminate the information to the common man because the conventional media is for the elites. You should have used traditional rulers to pass the message down to the masses but you didn’t involve us; that is why we keep quiet.”
Sultan noted that lack of security was another issue, as some people were unable to transport large sums of cash from their village to banks in the city for fear of being robbed or kidnapped.
He then asked “What will be the fate of these people after January, 31 deadline?”
He also expressed concerns over how the withdrawal limit might affect businesses in the country.
Earlier, the comptroller said that they were in the palace to inform the Sultan about the redesigned naira notes and the e-banking as well as seek his advice.
He promised to convey Sultan’s advice to the national headquarters.
Meanwhile the officials visited some banks to monitor the compliance to the CBN directive of dispensing redesigned notes to customers through their ATMs, just as they sensitised traders on the need to deposit their money in banks and adopt e-Naira transaction.
Recently it had r been reported on how a cross section of Nigerians and managing authorities of commercial banks asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the January 31 deadline for the old naira notes.
But different stakeholders had been mounting pressure on the apex bank to extend the deadline in order to allow the new notes to circulate well and ensure the mop up of the old notes.
It was learnt that prominent among the stakeholders were managing directors of banks and their management teams, but a source close to the chief executive of a Tier-1 lender said on Friday that the bank managing directors could not make the call for the deadline extension openly as the decision on the redesign of the naira had their approval.