Following the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the introduction of a N5000 note into the system, prominent women in the country have commended President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the picture of the three prominent women to be on the note.
The pictures of late Margaret Ekpo, late Gambo Sawaba and Funmilayo Kuti, three prominent Nigerian female activists are to be used on the new note, which is to be in circulation from 2013.
The Special Adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters, Joy Emordi, speaking in Abuja, said remembering these women would remind Nigerians, especially the elites, that they will be remembered for their roles in times of national challenges either as heroes or as villains.
Mrs Emordi said the representation of the National Assembly that is to be on the new currency shows that President Jonathan appreciates the efforts of the parliament in deepening the country’s democracy and development.
The CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido on Thursday announced that the bank is going to introduce N5, 000 notes into the system.
He said that the plan is aimed at enhancing the quality of banknotes, incorporate a more effective feature for the visually impaired as well as reduce cost of production, distribution and disposal of banknotes.
New N5000 will increase our suffering – ANPP
Meanwhile, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has condemned the move by the Federal government to introduce a higher denomination into the system.
In a press statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu tha ANPP said it “has received with interest the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of its plans to add a higher currency denomination of N5, 000 to the country’s list of notes by early next year.
“The apex bank also informed the nation of its plans to redesign the N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1, 000 notes to improve their security features while the N5, N10 and N20 polymer notes are to be converted to coins. Our great party believes this is another clear path to inflation and resultant suffering on the part of the hapless citizens of this great nation.
“It is an established fact that the Nigerian populace is averse to the use of coins, and therefore the decision by the Federal Government to convert some lower denomination notes to coins smells of a premeditated agenda to further mop up cash from the nation space and whip the Nigerian people in the process, just as it had done through the increase in the pump price of fuel and hike in electricity tariff. In fact, one does not need an economics professor to know that this move will eventually cripple the value of the naira; countries like Japan, Germany and Singapore do not have strong currencies because they printed higher denominations.
“Moreover, going cashless has nothing to do with printing N5, 000, but everything to do with introducing valid strategies for redirecting the nation’s commercial transactions into the virtual space. Right now, what the CBN and the Federal Government should be engaged in is establishing a clear and comprehensive electronic fraud management framework, as well as delineating of responsibility among key stakeholders, and advocating enabling laws that will inspire confidence in the country’s e-payment network, both locally and internationally; not to saddle the helpless masses with more burdens,” the statement reads.
The party advised the Federal Government to “call the CBN to order, and mandate them to streamline the resources that would be wasted in this ill-timed and unreasonable exercise into more people-friendly fiscal projects with the aim of reviving the fast-waning confidence of the masses in the government.
“We believe that this lame project, instead of curing the economic problems of the nation, will only succeed in deepening the already egregious chasm between the haves and the have-nots of this well-endowed country.”
New note will increase corruption – CPC
Reacting to the announcement of the planned introduction of the N5000 banknote, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) said that the new note will aid corruption in the country.
In a press statement signed by the CPC’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, the party said “the era of ‘Ghana-must-go bags’ dwindled with the introduction of the N500 and N1000 notes in the past. It became easier to carry millions of Naira in moderately-sized brief cases and, inexorably, increasing the incidences of high-profile bribery scandals in the polity.
“Recently, we witnessed the allegations and counter-allegations of solicitation for and receipt of bribe money levied against certain highly influential politicians in the Country. It is axiomatic to infer that those transactions were opaque to the Banking system because of the facilitating ambience of high currency notes. We insist that the introduction of N5000 currency note shall further exacerbate the corruptive tendencies in the Nigerian polity.”
The party said that while it agrees with the CBN’s argument that printing of notes is more expensive than minting coins, “it is difficult to believe that the solution lies in converting the N5, N10 and N20 notes to coins. First, the cultural values of the Nigerian people do not favor use of coins. The question is: how did we fare with the previous conversion of 50k, N1 and N2 Naira notes to coins? In fact, those currencies tacitly went out of circulation as a result of disuse.
“Second, with an economy very susceptible to fragile macroeconomic distortions, the tendency is often for the price of goods and services to be at par with the currency notes in circulation. What will invariably happen is the spiraling inflation that may cause further macroeconomic distortions and unwittingly, bringing about political upheavals.
“Third, the existence of the foregoing scenarios may exacerbate the already polarized Nigerian polity of have’s and have-not’s, with the systematic break-down of the middle class.
“The CBN governor was reported to have said that various segments of the Nigerian state shall be encouraged to create avenues for the usage of coins. As plausible as this may sound, the question is: what efforts have been made in the past to mobilize these segments of the State on the usage of coins and what has been the success rate?
“Furthermore, with the huge mobilization against the pasting of Naira notes on persons at get-together ceremonies, have we succeeded in stamping out this vice? Is it possible to extirpate deep seated cultural practices with hurriedly implemented policies as against allowing structured evolvement vis-à-vis modern realities,” the statement reads.
The party advised that there is need to consider different shades of opinion before making the final draft. In so doing, the matters of State shall not suffer insufficient perspicacity.