The Federal Government has maintained its ground to support the bid by the Central Bank to introduce and print N5, 000 notes in the country.
Minister of National Planning, Dr. Usman Shamsudeen who gave the hint while speaking to State House Correspondents after a meeting of the Economic Management Team (EMT) said the endorsement of the N5000 note by the EMT followed an approval of the currency by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Obviously, 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.
Arguing that the N5000 note, unlike some people were misrepresenting it, was not going to lead to higher inflation, Samsudeen also hinted that CBN was going to communicate to Nigerians 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.
He said, “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?
On the contention that there is a link between the N5000 note and corruption, he said, “It is an area that I obviously know nothing about. I think people alleged that part of that corruption is being done in dollars. A $100 bill is N16,000 and N5000 note will be $30. So, which one is bigger to carry if you are doing corruption?
“So, 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 added.
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