Some Nigerians have advised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reconsider its decision to introduce new N5,00 note and coin some naira denominations.
The Nigerians gave the advice in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
They all agreed that the introduction of the new note and coins would portend grave implications for the economy.
Mr Nnamemeka Obiaraeri, the Managing Director, Taurus Capital Advisory Service Ltd., said that the apex bank should revisit its “redenomination policy”rather than introduce new the new note.
Obiaraeri said that the redenomination policy, which was proposed by Prof. Charles Soludo, a former Governor of CBN in 2007, would strengthen the nation’s currency
He said that the introduction of new note and coins would be counter-productive as it would increase inflation rate in an economy that was already fragile.
“Our economy is not robust; there is high rate of unemployment and the rate of inflation will increase with N5, 000 note and those new coins in the system,“ he said.
Mr Bade Oludahun, a Currency Analyst at Forex Time Trading West Africa, said the proposed new naira note would “weaken” the middle class.
He said that the proposal would lead to devaluation of the naira, stressing that it would be better to encourage the use of existing coins.
Mr Bonieface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, said that the policy would contradict the cash-less policy.
“ The CBN should work more on strengthening the naira, instead of introducing a big denomination like N5, 000.
“Again, you wonder why the CBN wants to introduce coins and a high naira denomination now that it is talking about a cashless monetary system.
“I think this proposed policy will defeat the latest policies of the CBN, “ he said.
Okezie said that it would be difficult for Nigerians to begin to carry coins and large amounts of cash about.
Mr Gbenga Okeowo, a businessman, urged the CBN to consult widely before implementing its new currency policy.
“The introduction of those coins and the N5,000 note is inappropriate and is inconsistent with the cash-less policy being promoted by the apex bank.
“I propose that a national conference must be convened by the CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to deliberate on the policy, “ he said.
Okeowo said that a national debate was necessary to give the proposal “wide spread legitimacy“.
Miss Linda Aken, a GSM recharge card vendor, said that their business would be affected by the introduction of N5, 000 notes.
She said the proposed policy would compound the problem of giving customers’ their balances after transactions.
“We, recharge card sellers, are still battling with giving customers that use N1000 to buy N100 recharge cards their balances.
“Most of the time, we don’t make much sales when customers come with N1000 notes to buy small amount of airtime.
“I know that our sales margins will definitely drop if N5, 000 notes are introduced into the market,“ she said.
NAN recalls that the CBN said that it would introduce N5, 000 note and coin N5, N10 and N20 notes in 2013.