The House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on new naira re-design and naira swap policy has added a new twist to the controversy surrounding the deadline for the validity of old notes by rejecting the ten days extension granted by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the exchange.
The committee described the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood.
The PUNCH reported that the CBN had earlier fixed January 31 as the deadline for the exchange of N200, N500 and N1000 old naira notes.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, however on Sunday said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rerd.), gave permission for the deadline to be extended till February 10.
But the Ad hoc Committee, chaired by the Majority Leader, House of Reps, Alhassan Doguwa, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, rejected the extension, insisting that the CBN must comply with sections 20 sub 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act.
The Lower House, had during its sitting on Tuesday, last week, following the outcry by Nigerians, constituted the Ad hoc committee to look into the issue.
Doguwa said, “The 10-day extension for the exchange of the old naira notes is not the solution. We as a legislative committee with a constitutional mandate of the House, would only accept clear compliance with Section 20 Sub-section 3, 4, and 5 of the CBN Act and nothing more.
“Nigeria as a developing economy and a nascent democracy must respect the principle of the rule of law. And the House would go ahead to sign arrest warrant to compel the CBN Governor to appear before the Ad hoc committee.”
According to him, under his chairmanship, the committee would continue its work until it gets the demands of Nigerians addressed in accordance with the laws of the land.
While describing the extension as a mere political gimmick to further deceive Nigerians and worsen their economic and social livelihood, Doguwa said the CBN governor must appear before the House or stand the risk of being arrested on the strength of legislative writs to be signed by the Speaker on Monday.
He also said the policy was capable of frustrating the forthcoming general election.
“Security agencies and their operations especially at the state level are generally funded through cash advances and direct table payments of allowances to operatives during elections,” he said.