by Isi Esene
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has announced the apex bank’s plan to redesign the N50 note and introduce a N5000 denomination.
The governor attributed the proposed introduction of the high denomination note to “inflationary pressures”.
Sanusi also announced that three denominations – N5, N10, and N20 will be converted to coins making the overall Nigerian currency structure six coins and six notes. The other coin denominations are the 50kobo, N1, and N2 coins.
The CBN governor said “efforts are being put in place to ensure that the redesigned N50 and the new N5000 banknotes are launched early in 2013.”
Speaking on the tendency to reject the use of coins as legal tender, Sanusi said: “To encourage the usage of coins, the CBN will liaise with relevant MDAs, DMBs, road transport workers, market operators, small businesses, supermarkets, vendors, etc. to create avenues for the usage of the coins. The CBN will ensure that coin collection is convenient and the introduction of 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will be a gradual process as the banknotes will circulate simultaneously with the old series until they are fully withdrawn from circulation.”
The proposed N5000 note will have the faces of prominent politician and social mobiliser, Margaret Ekpo (1914 – 2006); the late politician and activist Hajia Gambo Sawaba (1933 – 2001) and the late politician and women’s right activist Funmilayo Kuti (1900 -1978).
The CBN governor gave reasons for the planned introduction of coins to replace the polymer bank notes saying the benefits expected to be derived from its (polymer notes) use have not been realised.
He said the CBN have experienced difficulties in the processing and briquetting of the polymer notes, and the tactile feature for the visually impaired has not been as effective as desired.
He concluded by explaining the rationale behind the planned introduction of the N5000 note saying it would discourage dollarisation, reduce the volume of banknotes and the overall cost of currency management.