* Vows to invoke CBN Act to review the deadline
House of Representatives threatens legal action against CBN Governor and bank CEOs for failing to appear before ad hoc committee on old naira notes.
Speaker of the House threatens legal action against CBN Governor and bank CEOs for failing to attend ad hoc committee meeting due to late invitation.
The House established a committee to work with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and bank CEOs regarding the January 31 deadline for the withdrawal of old naira notes. However, on the scheduled date, the CBN liaison officer informed the committee that due to bureaucratic delays, the deadline could not be met. Speaker Gbajabiamila expressed frustration, stating that he had received a letter from the CBN stating that Governor Emefiele was on a trip with President Buhari and would not be available for the meeting. Gbajabiamila emphasized the importance of allowing the old notes to continue to be used alongside the new notes to avoid negative impacts on the economy and harm to Nigerian citizens.
Gbajabiamila threatened to contact the Inspector General of Police to issue an arrest warrant, stating that the CBN Act requires the bank to redeem the face value of the recalled currency upon demand, even after the expiration of the notice of recall. He pledged that the House will ensure that this law is fully upheld, regardless of the deadline imposed by CBN. He further explained that the House of Representatives had invited the CBN and managing directors of banks in Nigeria to appear before them to provide reasons for the ongoing failure to adequately disburse the redesigned naira notes before the expiration of the deadline of January 31, 2023, when the old notes will cease to be legal tender. An ad hoc committee led by the Majority Leader, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa was also established for this purpose, but no official of the CBN appeared to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives, which he considered unacceptable.
The resolution of the House is based on information showing that the rollout of the redesigned naira notes has been a complete failure, and this failure has real and dire consequences on the ability of Nigerians to conduct business across the country. The refusal by the CBN to respond to the invitation by the House of Representatives is a clear disregard for the well-being of the Nigerian people, who are their customers, and also an insult to the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament.
Therefore, I will, in accordance with 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 or managing directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives recognizes 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 also acknowledges that Section 20 (3) 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. Regardless of the deadline imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the House will ensure that this provision of the law is fully honored.
Source: ThisDay Live