NANS said the deadline set by the Nigerian government has made life more difficult for Nigerian students.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to extend the deadline for old naira notes to cease being legal tender.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 23, 2022, unveiled redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and the CBN immediately fixed January 31 as the date for the expiration of the old notes.
With few days to the deadline, there is scarcity of the new notes as banks keep dispensing old notes to their customers.
NANS in a statement signed by its National Vice President, Akinteye Babatunde Afeez said the deadline set by the Nigerian government has made life more difficult for Nigerian students.
He added that some banks in school environment still gave out the old naira notes to students with the deadline only a few days away.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Students are not finding it funny anymore with the humiliation we face daily in the bid to swap and in the event of always meeting the old notes in the ATM whenever we go to withdraw.
“Despite several concerns and appeals by the National Assembly, the Governors Forum, the Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, and a host of other stakeholders in the country for the CBN to extend the period for the currency swap of the new Naira notes as well as review of the cashless policy, the CBN has remained adamant on the January 31, 2023 deadline. This will not in any way be in favour of the Nigerian Students.
“It is of a fact that it's not been long that ASUU called off the industrial strike that wasted our time and this coincided with the admission of new students into various institutions by JAMB and managements of various institutions all over Nigeria. This has made it paramount for registrations to be in progress and several financial transactions will be going on concurrently in various institutions across the nation.
“As at today, Friday, January 27, 2023, banking and other financial institutions are still struggling to cope with the rush by citizens to change their old currencies to new notes. Banks and POS outlets are struggling with the shortage of the redesigned new Naira notes ahead of the CBN deadline, consequently making it difficult for them to comply with the CBN directives as regards availability of the new notes for customers. The shortage of new notes is creating serious panic that may snowball into something tragic if not put to check on time.
“Somewhere in Abraka, Delta State today, some students of Delta State University who went for currency swap were locked out of the bank with the claim that some staff of the bank were working on some swapping and it was not their turn yet. They eventually couldn't do the swapping. As at today, many stores have started to reject the old currency with the fear that they may not be able to swap on Monday due to the rush that comes with Mondays and end-of-month financial reports collations in banks.
“The questions now are: 1. What becomes of the Nigerian Students on Monday when all the old notes we have with us refuse to serve as a legal tender if by now some banks still load their ATMs with old naira notes?
“2. What will happen when the Nigerian Students become stranded at several junctions and circumstances because we have our money but has been condemned by our government without adequate remedy to curb such?
“3. What will happen when many of our students are unable to complete their school registrations due to this financial gridlock that is doing us more harm than good at the moment?
“The basic point is that the policy is a great one but the timing is wrong for the populace and something must be done urgently to salvage this ugly situation. The Nigerian Students, as a major stakeholder in the scheme of things in Nigeria, will never fold our hands and watch this country go in shambles. This is why we are appealing to the CBN governor and other related stakeholders to look beyond the election and consider the impact of this policy on the Nigerian Students and other citizens of Nigeria.
“This notice would hereby serve as a stern warning to the authorities involved to immediately announce a favourable postponement within 24hours or we take to the street in a protest of the century to register our disaffection with this inhumane deadline.”