January 26, 2023
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been threatened with an arrest warrant by the speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, if he does not come before the committee looking into the lack of the new naira at commercial banks.
Concerns have been raised by some Nigerians regarding the January 31 deadline for exchanging old Naira notes for the newly redesigned ones. Many Nigerians allege they go to the banks to deposit the old notes but are unable to get their hands on the fresh notes.
A committee was formed by the Lawmakers to look into these claims and try to find a solution in an effort to end the seeming crisis.
Emefiele was requested to appear before the house on Wednesday, January 25, for questioning, but he did not.
Gbajabiamila expressed his displeasure at the CBN governor’s failure to appear before the committee and declared he would not think twice about asking the Inspector General of Police to place Emefiele under arrest. According to him, the lawmakers would meet again on Tuesday to take action against Emefiele and other bank executives who fail to appear, rather than the House adjourning plenary until February 28 as originally intended for the elections.
He informed the house that the CBN had written to the Clerk, informing the House of Emefiele’s inability to appear before the committee on Thursday, January 26. The Speaker said the House would exercise its powers as contained in Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution. Gbajabiamila also noted that the CBN Act allows the admittance of an old naira note by banks, even after it had ceased to be legal tender.
Apart from asking the CBN to extend the window for swapping the old notes with the newly redesigned one by six months, the House had invited the banks to a meeting on Wednesday over the scarcity of new naira notes.