Apart from the introduction of the N5,000 note, the apex bank will also convert the existing N10 and N20 notes to coins and thus take the numbers of coin in the nation currency system to six.
Governor of the apex bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, while addressing a press briefing on Thursday, in Abuja, on the proposed Currency Restructuring Exercise, stated that according to international best practices, monetary authorities were required to review their nation’s currency at interval of between five and eight years. He said this was done to address, among other factors, inevitable weaknesses and challenges identified in the circulating bank notes and coins.
In the case of the Nigerian currency, the CBN Governor said the various denominations had been circulating without any major review.
For instance, he said the N100 note, restructured in 1999, had been in existence for 13 years, while N200, which was also restructured in 2000, had been in existence for 12 years.
The same goes for N500 note, which was restructured in April 2001 and has being in existence for 11 years, while the N1000 note, which was restructured in October 2005 had been existing for seven years.
The CBN governor, who said the last comprehensive review of the currency that saw the introduction of N20, N5, N10 and N50 polymer was carried out in 2005 and 2009 respectively, stated that the current currency restructuring exercise threw up a lot of challenges which included public apathy towards the usage of 20k, N1 and N2 coins.
In the light of these challenges, he said the apex bank conducted several stakeholders’ meetings where it was agreed that the CBN should coin lower denominations of currency up to N100. It was also agreed that there was need to encourage the usage of coins and for the apex bank to introduce higher denomination bank notes to discourage dollarisation, reduce the volume of bank notes and the overall cost of currency management.
He said on November 28, 2011, the CBN board considered and approved the new currency series, with subsequent approval of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Under the new currency restructuring programme, he said, the existing denominations of N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1000 would be redesigned with additional new security features.
On the new N5000 notes, he said the faces of three Nigerian women namely, Margaret Ekpo, Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Gambo Sawaba would adorn the front page because of the strong love he and President Jonathan had for women while the back page would be adorned with the portrait of the National Assembly.
Disabusing the minds of Nigerians on the tendency of the new currency restructuring exercise to fuel inflation, the apex bank boss said inflation in Nigeria was a monetary phenomenon.
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