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N5 000 note attract mixed reactions

27 August 2012, 09:13

Lagos - Some politicians have advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to do a thorough cost and effect analysis of  the planned introduction of the N5 000 note early next year on the economy.

The politicians, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday, also urged the apex bank to carry Nigerians along in the processes leading to the implementation of the policy.

NAN recalls that the CBN Gov Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on Thursday announced the planned introduction of the N5 000 note and the conversion of N5, N10, N20 and N50 notes to coins.

Sanusi saod that new currency would be introduced early next year under the CBN's currency re-design programme tagged 'Project Cure'.

In his comments, Mr Sunny Moniedafe, a former FCT Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), advised that a detailed study should be conducted before embarking on the project.

"For any policy to be implementable, the majority of the populace must be carried along," he said.

He argued that the big problem still facing Nigerians was that leaders hardly carried along the majority of the people in the formulation and implementation of policies.

"This is a major challenge that all Nigerian leaders struggle with; they believe that if they go back on any statement or policy, they will be seen as weak. No, it should not be so," he said.

Similarly, Mr Denis Aghanya, a chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), also urged the CBN to educate the people for better understanding of the advantages of introducing the N5 000 note.

"There is need for CBN to educate Nigerians for them to know that the introduction of the N5 000 note is in order because we need to reduce the volume of cash in circulation and possibly imbibe the cashless economy."

He, however, said that the conversion of the lowest denominations to coins would not work because Nigerians would abuse it and melt it into aluminium products.

Mr Toyin Raheem,  the Secretary of the  Campaign for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (CCHR), an NGO, also said that government needed to enlighten  the people before introducing a new denomination.

According to him, the introduction of a higher naira denomination always brings about unanticipated challenges.

"The government needs to assure us that this new N5,000 note will not cause inflation because we believe that this is the genesis of inflationary trend," he said.

He expressed doubts that the introduction of coins would go down with majority of Nigerians, noting the fate of the existing  ones.

However, Dr Breakforth Abraham, the National Publicity Secretary of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD),  said he was not in support of the introduction of the new denomination.

"The N5 000 note will do Nigerians bad than good as it will devalue our currency and fuel  inflation."

He argued that the CBN had not deemed it fit to enforce the usage of the  existing coins, the  hence the conversion of smaller notes to coins would not work.

Alhaji Musa Umar,  the Deputy National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) also flayed  the introduction of N 5 000 note.

"The proposed introduction of N5 000 note is a surrender move by the CBN to the inflationary assault on the economy.

"This is an indication that we are losing the economic battle and mega inflation is foreseeable," he said.

Umar advised that the economy be diversified to return peace and stability to the polity so as to pave way for foreign direct  investments.



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