FG insists on super Naira note


Despite the fierce opposition to it from nearly all segments of the Nigerian society, the Federal said on Tuesday that it is going ahead with the plan to introduce a single N5, 000 notes in the country.

Dr Shamsudeen Usman, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Usman Shamsudeen who spoke to reporters after a meeting of the Economic Management Team, EMT in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa said President Goodluck Jonathan has already approved the introduction of the new super note. He added that members of the EMT also endorsed it at its meeting today.

“The discussion today was basically to endorse. Mr. President had already approved; that is the only requirement by law. The CBN is to propose and Mr. President is to approve. And since Mr. President has approved, really what is important is to just explain. I personally had some concerns about the coins but since some discussion with the CBN governor, he has actually clarified that even the media didn’t get it”, the minister said.

Nigerians, including some economists and National Assembly members have opposed the introduction of the N5OOO note and the proposed coinage of N5, N10 and N20 in a currency restructuring programme tagged Project Cure recently announced by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria. The main argument against the initiative is that it will worsen the level of inflation in the country. There are also arguments that the coins may not be accepted by Nigerians.

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But Usman said it is not true that the introduction of the N5000 note will lead to inflation. He also said CBN will ensure that the coins will run concurrently with the naira notes they are replacing as a form of test-run for Nigerians to accept them first.

“There is absolutely no link. I am an economist. I have been deputy governor operations of the Central Bank. In the last review of the introduction of N1000 note and the various coins I was deeply involved, it was my responsibility at the central bank. There is absolutely no link between inflation and the currency denomination.
“The coins are being introduced on an introductory basis so that if people accept them and are using them, then gradually they will withdraw the other notes but they will run concurrently with the notes. Those were my concerns initially because you remember during my time in the CBN, we introduced the one naira and two naira coins. Unfortunately, they were not utilized at all. Part of that is really the value of one naira and two naira today. What can you buy?

“I don’t think it is necessarily going to increase the level of corruption. Those doing corruption will probably find that too small. $100 bill is still bigger than the N5,000 note”, the minister said in response to the argument that the single N5000 note is going to aid corruption.

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