The move by the CBN has been widely condemned as contradicting the bank’s cashless policy and it will definitely worsen inflation in the country. The Bank and indeed Mallam Sanusi however, insisted on going ahead despite the directive by the senate to suspend the action. Our question as an organisation is the over 40 billion naira that the CBN will use in printing this new notes appropriated for in the 2012 budget? We say No to this wicked policy. Below are our postulations and position on this unfruitful venture.
1. What is the rationale behind this Sanusi’s egomaniac policy? That is the question on the lips of every right thinking person – Nigerian or foreigner, economist or non-economist? Spending over N40 billion to print large currency denomination in a ravaged economy with pressing developmental challenges speaks volumes about the thoughtlessness and intellectual depravity of Sanusi’s CBN leadership.
2. The idea of restructuring the Naira is a grossly misplaced priority, coming at a time ordinary Nigerians cannot put 3 square meals on the table, given the high costs of goods and services, exacerbated by the fuel subsidy removal.
3. The United States, which is the strongest economy in the world, has $100 as its highest denomination in circulation. In the UK, the largest denomination of the pound sterling ever printed for circulation was the £1000 note issued between 1725 and 1745. The £100 note was issued from 1725 to 1943 and was withdrawn in 1945. Since then, the £50 note has remained the largest denomination of the British Pound in circulation. Saudi Arabia’s 500 Riyals is its highest denomination.
4. Sanusi’s clear message to the world is that the Naira’s value is so weak that we need more of it to do business. The implication of the N5,000 note on the economy is serious. The policy is unnecessary and will serve no useful purpose. We have more socioeconomic challenges than restructuring currency at the moment. Nigerians are suffering because of Sanusi’s inchoate and anti-people monetary policies.
5. Aside the cost, the coining of lower denominations will not reduce the cost of business. The N5, N10 and N20 coins will be unusable just like the N1 & 50k coins.
6. This policy is bound to worsen our inflation rate because the cost of goods and services will have to be rounded upward for ease of transactions. Things that used to cost N10 or N15 would now be pegged at N50, being the lowest currency note.
7. Sanusi introduced a cashless policy to discourage carrying much cash. How does the introduction of N5,000 note support a cashless economy? It doesn’t make sense: it’s incons
8. istent with, and a contradiction of, the cashless policy, which Nigerians are struggling to come to terms with.
9. Nigeria is notoriously a corrupt country: the N5,000 note will simply facilitate bribery and corruption. It will fan the flames of contract and political corruption.
10. The conversion of the lower currencies into coins will eliminate these important historical names: Tafawa Balewa, Alvan Ikoku, and Murtala Muhammed.
11. How will the printing of N5,000 note ameliorate our growing unemployment? Will it improve our dilapidated infrastructure? Will it solve our education and healthcare challenges? Will it reduce our poverty level?
12. The over N40 billion earmarked for the N5,000 note and the wasteful resources for its enlightenment campaigns can add about 100 megawatts of electricity into our national grid. Why waste it in a roundly condemned project?
13. Sanusi seems to have coded agenda in all these his ill-conceived, harsh, inconsiderate and egomaniac pursuits? There is more to his macabre behaviour than meets the eye. Surely, restructuring the Naira at this time is unpatriotic and smacks of a cover-up of other personal interests.
14. Is Sanusi ignorant of the current security situation in the country? The social effects of his N5,000 note will worsen the security challenges. Isn’t Sanusi conscious that the N5,000 bill will foster the activities of Boko Haram? Isn’t Sanusi aware that the N5,000 bill will facilitate money laundering? Doesn’t Sanusi know that the N5,000 bill will lead to increase in kidnapping, ritual killings and other societal vices?
15. Is Sanusi’s so-called love for Nigerian women real or feigned to achieve his selfish ends? Is there no better way to honour our heroines? Or, is there more to Sanusi’s ambition than meets the eye by using these women to score cheap political point?
16. This policy lacks economic thought or logic and will accentuate the country’s economic decline, rather than its growth. Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and South Africa have all witnessed spectacular economic growth without having to restructure their currencies to higher denomination.
17. Nigerians are yet to come to terms with Sanusi’s egocentric reform agenda. Since Sanusi became CBN Governor, it has been one harsh policy after another. Interest rate is still at double digit level. The dusts raised by Sanusi’s audit and nationalization of banks are yet to settle. Sanusi has created huge unemployment in Nigerian banks with his vengeful reforms without concern about their terminal benefits.
18. Sanusi has paralysed industrial development with his unchecked harsh economic policies.
19. We ask again: What is Sanusi’s agenda for Nigeria? The President and security agencies should dig deep to unearth this before he plunges the country into cataclysm.
SUMMARY BULLET POINTS
COST OF IMPLEMENTING THIS CURRENCY RESTRUCTURING IS ABSURD. THE POLICY IS ILL-CONCEIVED, ILLOGICAL AND OF NO ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO THE MASSES. IT IS A MISPLACED PRIORITY.
THE N5,000 NOTE WILL TRIGGER INFLATIONARY TRENDS, AS COST OF GOODS & SERVICES WILL INCREASE FOR EASE OF TRANSACTING WITH LARGE CURRENCY DENOMINATION.
THE N5,000 NOTE WILL CONSTRUCTIVELY LEAD TO NAIRA DEVALUATION.
THE N5,000 NOTE IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO THE CASHLESS ECONOMIC POLICY.
THE N5,000 NOTE WILL FACILITATE THE ACTIVITIES OF BOKO HARAM & OTHER SECURITY THREATS, INCLUDING KIDNAPPING, RITUAL KILLING & OIL BUNKERING.
THE N5,000 NOTE WILL EXACERBATE BRIBERY, CORRUPTION & MONEY LAUNDERING.
THE N5,000 NOTE WILL ENTRENCH POVERTY & WORSEN THE ALREADY POOR ECONOMIC SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY.
THIS POLICY PROVES THAT SANUSI HAS AN INORDINATE CODED AGENDA, BASED ON EGOMANIA.
In conclusion, we reject the introduction of the 5,000 naira note and call on the CBN to immediately discard the idea and instead embark on economic policies that will provide growth and development in all facets of our national lives. If the CBN refuses to harken to the voice of reason, we will have no choice than to prove to them that Democracy must continue to be government of the people by the people and for the people.
Thank you and God bless Nigeria.
OTUNBA DINO MELAYE