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Scarcity of new Naira notes causes panic, Reps to meet with CBN officials today



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As the January 31 deadline for the mopping up of the old Naira notes looms, many Nigerians are in a state of panic due to the scarcity of the new notes.

Investigations by Ripples Nigeria, on Wednesday, revealed that many banks, in the Ketu area, have resorted to pegging the amount that can be withdrawn in order to ensure equitable distribution and circulation of the notes.

But reports from other parts of the state, including Ikotun, Egbeda, and Ejigbo areas indicate that most banks have shut down their ATM machines as they do not have the new notes in stock. There were allegations by some customers that the banks were discreetly giving out the new notes to some class of people within the banking halls, as against the CBN directive.

In efforts to redress the situation, the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives constituted to interface with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and bank chief executive officers, scheduled a meeting for Wednesday, which was stalled due to late delivery of invitation letters to invitees.

However, Chairman of the committee and majority leader of the House, Ado Doguwa, during plenary in Abuja, assured that the meeting would take place today (Thursday, January 26).

Doguwa stated that the meeting with the chief executive officers of the banks had been postponed to today at 1 pm and would take place later.

He said: “This is the House ad-hoc committee to interface with the CBN and bank operators with regards to resolving the issue of the phasing out the strategy of the old naira notes and to bring into circulation the new naira notes, among other reasons.

READ ALSO:CBN dismisses reports on scarcity of new Naira notes

“We also have other factors we have discussed on the floor of the House yesterday and ultimately, the House mandated this ad-hoc committee to come up with a strategy to engage the officials of the CBN and CEOs of the commercial banks.

‘’It is, therefore, my pleasure to, at this point inform members of the committee, first of all, that we scheduled today’s (yesterday) meeting based on the letter we have signed out only with officials of the CBN and we have scheduled bank operators to come up tomorrow (Friday).

“So, it is like we, ab initio, invited them separately based on the nature of the engagement. It is a fact-finding thing and like I always say, this is not something to witch-hunt anyone. It is a simple fact-finding mission by the parliament, which obviously holds the proxy of the Nigerian people. So, we decided to take them separately.

“We have scheduled today for the officials of the CBN and tomorrow for bank operators and CEOs of commercial banks and on that note, I would like to communicate with members of the public that based on communication I just received from CBN, it is that our letter of invitation got to the bank very late yesterday.

“On this note, I would like to convey to this committee and members of the public and the press here with us that we have conceded to allow the CBN officials to come tomorrow (today) by 1pm, so we could engage them and immediately after the engagement with them, we would engage the bank operators.”

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