Why Nigeria needs the N5000 note
By Emmanuel Udom
Last week, governor of Central Bank, Lamido Sanusi released what some persons in Nigeria termed a bombshell. He told those of us who cared to listen that come 2013, the apex bank in the country could introduce the N5000 note into circulation.
The aim, Sanusi insisted is to run the cashless policy on a sure footing, upgrade the entire range of currency denominations in order to enhance their quality and integrity, as well as incorporate effective features for the visually impaired persons in our society.
On the face value, this sounds altruistic and therefore a welcome idea. But, since the ever caustic Sanusi made this statement, he has come under severe attacks by persons, groups, political parties, economic experts and financial experts, among others.
While some insisted that the CBN boss is trying the rubbish the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, others think the planned move is unwelcome, unrealistic, and untimely.
The All Nigeria Peoples Party in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Eneukwu, said that the action of the CBN boss could lead to inflation and reduce the purchasing power of Nigerians.
Hear ANPP: It is an established fact that Nigerians are adverse to the use of coins, insisting that the planned action is premeditated agenda to further mop up cash from the Nigerian economy system and whip the people.
Without sounding like a paid agent for CBN here, I disagree totally with ANPP for insisting that Nigerians are averse to coins. The party should come out with facts and figures to convince some persons like me on this angle.
The Congress for Progressive Change, a party founded by Muhammad Buhari, former military head of state of Nigeria on the other hand insisted that the introduction of the N5000 note could lead to corruption.
Again, I need further conviction to buy this idea; otherwise I will have the feeling that these two political parties are only trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
I am not in any way a paid agent of either the government of Nigeria or the CBN. But, I do from that the United States of America for instance has a $1000 note and that has not grounded the economy of the country.
Introducing the N5000 note will oxygenate the cashless policies of the CBN by ensuring that people do not go about with much cash for fear of being robbed. 200 notes of N5000 will translate to about N1million, which a person could conveniently carry inside his or her pause without drawing the attention of criminally, minded persons to themselves.
This does not mean that robbery and criminal activities will be totally wiped out from Nigeria. Far from it, as crimes cannot be totally flushed out in any country, developed or developing.
The apex bank should go ahead with the introduction of the note, even as it is expected that a thorough job in terms of the costs of bringing this dream project into reality should be done.
Secondly, the bank should use the various media options available to create awareness on the merits and possibly demerits of this project, as Nigeria is still seen as one of the most illiteracy countries in the world.