*Only N370.7bn Was Collected As Stamp Duty In 7 Years
*Says Deadline Remains Jan 31 For Old Naira Notes

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has said the CBN will not extend the January 31st deadline for the old naira notes.

There have been calls from different quarters for the extension of the deadline in view of some challenges.

But speaking at the post Monetary Policy Committee briefing of the bank in Abuja on Tuesday, Emefiele said, “I don’t have good news for those who want deadline of old naira to be changed because we will not move it.

“People are holding and vaulting the naira in their houses and they don’t have the license to do that, because they use it to speculate on the naira.”

He said the apex bank has so far mopped up about N1.5 trillion, hoping to achieve about N2 trillion before the deadline.

He said: “We have pleaded with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) not to harass anybody, and on my honor, they will not do that.”

Emefiele also said the total stamp duty collected by the bank in seven years accrued to N370.7 billion, not N89trillion as alleged by some groups.

Recall that House of Representatives member, Mr Muhammed Kazaure had raised the alarm of alleged theft of stamp duty proceeds running into N89 trillion

He alleged that the apex bank had not remitted stamp duty revenue to government coffers as tax insisting that the bank remits only 60 per cent to the government while 40 per cent goes to private pockets.

But Emefiele said, “The total banking sector assets as at today is N71 trillion. The total bank deposit is N44.418trillion.so it is not possible to for stamp duty alone to clock more than rhebtotal bank assets and deposit.”

He said of the amount so far disbursed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to the federation account is N226.4Ben, leaving a balance of N144.2Bn.

Meanwhile, the MPC has continued in its aggressive measure to tame inflation by increasing official interest rate by another 100 basis points. By that, the monetary policy rate was increased from 16.5% to 17.5%. The committee held other parameters around the MPR.

Addressing journalists at the end of its meeting, CBN governor, Emefiele said the little drop in inflation rate to 21.36% in December was not enough to hold or reduce the interest rate.

In a related development, the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, summoned commercial banks over the scarcity of new naira notes.

The Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers of the banks, under the auspices of the Bankers’ Committee, are to meet with an ad hoc committee of the House to be chaired by the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, on Wednesday (tomorrow).

The meeting is for the banks to explain the alleged supply shortage from the Central Bank of Nigeria, after which the lawmakers would invite the leadership of the apex bank for questioning.

The House further resolved that the window for swapping the old notes with the new ones be extended by six months.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday similarly appealed to the apex bank to extend the deadline by six months as well, from January 31 to July 31, 2023.

The CBN on October 26, 2022 had announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500 and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.

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