CBN Introduces N5,000 Note Next Year
Fri, 24/08/2012 | NSE ANTHONY-UKO

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to add a higher currency denomination ? N5,000 ? to the country?s list of notes by early 2013.

This confirms LEADERSHIP?s exclusive report that the CBN was planning to introduce higher denominations.

Recall that LEADERSHIP first broke the news of the planned introduction of N5,000 note in May 2012, which the apex bank vehemently denied.

CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, however disclosed in Abuja yesterday, that the N5,000 will feature three female national icons namely Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Gambo Sawabo.

The apex bank also said it plans to redesign the N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 notes to improve their security features while the N5, N10 and N20 polymer notes are to be converted to coins.

According to Sanusi, the CBN has sought and obtained the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan as well as the Board of the Bank for the new currency structure.

He however, stressed that the introduction of the new currency series would be a gradual process, as the banknotes will circulate simultaneously with the old series until they are fully withdrawn from the system.? ?Therefore, there would be no urgent need for exchange of the old for the new banknotes by the general public for as long as the old banknotes are in circulation, they will remain legal tender,? he said.

Sanusi said that the currency restructuring exercise, code-named ?PROJECT CURE?, is in line with international best practices, which require monetary authorities to review their nations? currencies at intervals of between five and eight years in order to address inevitable weaknesses and challenges identified in the circulating banknotes and coins which usually arise from innovations in technology, aesthetics, security considerations among others.

However, the CBN governor said the last comprehensive review of the nation?s currency was carried out in 2005 which resulted in the introduction of the N20 polymer banknote followed by the varnishing of the N5, N10 and N50 paper banknotes in 2007.

He said the current review exercise was aimed at achieving the objectives of upgrading the design of the entire existing range of currency denominations in order to enhance the quality and integrity of the banknotes; incorporate a more effective feature for the visually challenged, introduce new security features on the redesigned banknotes among others.

Sanusi allayed fears that the N5,000 note would induce inflation, stating that in countries such as Singapore, Germany and Japan the highest denominations are 10,000 SGD, ?500 and Yen10,000 respectively.? While 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.

?We believe that the introduction of a higher bill would complement the Bank?s cash less policy as it would substantially reduce the volume of currency-in-circulation particularly in the long term,? he said adding that to encourage the usage of coins the CBN would liaise with relevant MDAs, DMBs, road transport workers, market operators, small businesses, supermarkets, vendors, etc to create avenues for the usage of the coins.

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