Senate President Ahmad Lawan says there is no need for a time limit on the validity of the old naira notes.
Lawan spoke on Friday to journalists after a meeting of the Council Of State, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Cable News reports.
Membership of the council comprises the President, Vice-President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, former presidents, former heads of state, former chief justices, Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker, governors of the 36 states of the federation, and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
The council had asked Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to make new naira notes available or recirculate old notes to ease the suffering of Nigerians.
Lawan said he told Buhari, in a separate meeting, that the National Assembly has resolved that there should be no deadline for the currency swap because of the way it has impacted Nigerians.
“For us in the Senate, initially we felt that this policy in the first place is not a bad one. But we also feel there is no need for time limit,” he said.
“Allow the old and the new to co-exist until the old is phased out. So, what is wrong in that? This is not going to be the first country to deploy it that way.
“Other countries have been doing the same thing. And to say that in three months it will be okay? It is not okay, especially in a country like ours where maybe 80, 85, 90 percent of the population have no access to banks.
“When Britain changed their currency, it took them over a year to change and the validity of the old remains and remains a legal tender. So, why ours? We are not cashless yet and that society is cashless already and they needed even more time.
“So, we should have an open-ended time but what will make it quick is for us to have more of the new currencies and then they co-exist with the old ones until the old dies a natural death.”