The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed a recent story on the introduction of N5,000 note published by Daily Sun, saying that it would complement the bank’s cashless policy because it would substantially reduce the volume of currency in circulation particularly on the long run.
Speaking on the proposed currency restructuring, code-named “Project Cure”, Governor of CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said that the N5,000 note will have the faces of Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and Hajia Gambo Sawaba, adding that these women fought for Nigeria’s independence. Also, at the back of the note, is the picture of National Assembly.
Also to be redesigned are the existing denominations of N50, N100,N200, N500 and N1,000 notes while the lower banknote denominations of N5, N10, and N20 will be coined in addition to the existing 50k, N1 and N2. This, therefore, brings the naira currency structure to 12, six coins and six banknotes, for which approval was sought and obtained on December 19, 2011.
“On the 29th of November 2011, the CBN Board considered and approved the new currency series. It subsequently sought and on 19th of December, 2011 obtained the approval of His Excellency, the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,” he said.
To encourage the usage of coins, the CBN governor said that the apex bank would liaise with relevant Ministries, Departments (MDAs), Deposit Money Banks, road transport workers, market operators, small businesses, supermarkets, vendors, etc to create avenues for the usage of the coins.
“We would ensure that coin collection is convenient and the infrastructure readily assessable,” he said, noting that the new currency series will be a gradual process as the banknotes will circulate simultaneously with the old series until they are fully withdrawn from circulation.
As against the widespread speculation that the notes would be launched on September 1, 2012, Sanusi disclosed that both the redesigned notes and the new note would be launched early in 2013.
However, the governor allayed the fears of Nigerians that the introduction of a higher denomination banknote could exert inflationary pressures on the economy.
He said that inflation in Nigeria is a monetary phenomenon and in some countries such as Singapore, Germany and Japan, the highest denominations are 10,000 SGD, 500 euros and Yen 10,000, respectively.
“These denominations have relatively high dollar equivalent. The levels of inflation are, however, low at 2.8,1.1 and -0.7 as at 2010,” he argued.