Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the January 31 deadline for the validity of old naira notes.
Ortom said this when the governing council and management of the Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University paid him a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Makurdi.
The CBN had on Tuesday insisted that there was no going back on the stipulated deadline.
Expressing his view on the apex bank’s stance, Ortom said since the new notes were not much in circulation, it was not possible for Nigerians, especially rural dwellers, to meet up with the deadline.
He added that most people living in rural areas do not have bank accounts.
“The visible sign is that there are a lot of people, particularly in the rural areas, to transfer the old notes. As governor, I am yet to see the new naira notes,” Ortom said.
“This is the reason I will join other Nigerians to look at this critically so that we don’t worsen the condition of our people.
It is an understatement to say that our people are suffering in Nigeria. People are going through pain in this country. Things are not okay at all.”
Ortom said CBN’s decision to not extend the deadline would further increase the pains of Nigerians.
“I join the national assembly members to prevail on the CBN to extend the deadline of exchange of the old naira notes,” he said.
“If we do not say it as it were, we are liars and sycophants. Things are not right in this country.
“We want to let the president know that people are suffering and something must be done to reduce it.”
TheCable had reported that the apex bank launched a cash swap programme to enable those in rural areas exchange their old notes with new ones before the deadline.