Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

The Federal Government has extended the deadline for cash withdrawal for security votes till April 15.

Our correspondent learnt from a credible source that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) granted the extension to governors after intense negotiations.

The April 15 extension will be ratified at a special meeting convened by the NFIU with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and others virtually by 9pm today.

The naira redesign and the controversies that followed it will also be discussed at the meeting.

The source said: “At the meeting, the NFIU will wait to hear what the state governors have to say, but they have already been informed of the extension ahead of the meeting.

“They (state governors) can withdraw cash for security vote up to April 15. We will wait to hear what the governors will have to say. The extension is granted only for security votes.

“NFIU is not saying they should not spend their money but only that they should do it online.”

Aside from the cash withdrawal extension, the official added that those at the meeting “will look at a lot of issues that concern the financial system”.

The governors were instrumental to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a key participant in the meeting, walking back all the decisions it took in the wake of the naira redesign policy.

The Supreme Court had ordered a return of the old notes of N200, N500 and N1,000 as well as declaring as illegal the cash limit Nigerians can withdraw from their accounts following a suit instituted by some state governors.

The NFIU in January gave a March 1 deadline for the end of cash withdrawals from all public accounts.

Governors might reject the short extension because they believe the agency lacks the power to determine how security votes should be disbursed.

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