CBN Governor writes House explaining his being part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s delegation to the Republic of Senegal for the Feed Africa Summit as reason for his inability to honour the parliament’s invitation
Lawmakers insist that extant provisions of the law on currency change must be adhered to.
“The Central Bank Act under Section 20 allows the Central Bank to change the legal tender. But it also says that after the expiration date, such naira note changed will no longer be legal tender. But it says that 2, 3 to 5 months after, even in June, any old notes presented to the banks shall be redeemed by the banks.
That point needs to be made to the Central Bank and to the public. It has not been made. It’s a provision of law.”
– Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has again threatened the Executives of commercial banks in the country that failed to appear before the House Adhoc Committee set up to interface with stakeholders in the circulation of redesigned naira notes.
The meeting was called to explore the way forward ahead of the 31st January 2023 deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes following the adoption of a motion by Rep. Sada Soli (APC, Katsina) during Tuesday’s plenary.
The House thus summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Executives of commercial banks in the country to appear before the Alhassan Ado-Doguwa-led Committee on Wednesday. However, the aforementioned stakeholders shunned the meeting of the lawmakers, alluding to a late receipt of the invitation letters from the parliament.
Gbajabiamila thus frowned at this during plenary on Thursday. Thereafter, the Clerk informed the House of a reply or a letter from the Central Bank.
Invitation to a meeting with the Adhoc Committee in view of the Cashless Policy
“We refer to your letter referenced 25 January 2023, inviting the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before the House of Representatives on Thursday, which is today, 26 January 2023.
The governor is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s delegation to Dakar, Republic of Senegal, for the Feed Africa Summit from 25th to 27th January 2023. Accordingly, he has requested that we respectfully acknowledge his inability to honour the invitation on the scheduled date.
The governor regrets this and requests that the chairman and the members of the committee be informed accordingly.
Please, accept once again the governor’s highest consideration and warm regards.
That was signed by the Deputy Governor, Corporate Services.”
Reacting to the letter from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Gbajabiamila had the following to say:
“The Resolution of the House was predicated on information showing that the rollout of the redesigned naira notes has been an unmitigated failure. This failure has real and dire consequences on the ability of Nigerians to conduct business across the country.
The refusal by the CBN, all managing directors to heed the invitation by the House of Representatives is evidence of a blatant disregard for the well-being of the Nigerian people who are their customers. It is also an insult to the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament.
Therefore, if by the end of today, there is further disregard to the summons, I will, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 89 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Order 19 (2)(1) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, not hesitate to issue a warrant to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to compel the attendance of the CBN and/ or Managing Directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives recognises the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) authority to determine the country’s legal tender and to recall currency with reasonable notice, subject to the approval of the President. The House is also aware that Section 20 (3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act mandates the CBN to redeem the face value of the recalled currency upon demand, even after the expiration of the notice of recall.
Notwithstanding the deadline imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), this House will see to it that this provision of the law is honoured in full.”