Any further move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce N5000 note in spite of public outcry against the policy amounts to breach of law, vice chairman Senate Committee on Banking and other Financial Institutions, Senator Isa Galaudu (PDP, Kebbi North) has said.
Speaking during an interview with Daily Trust weekend in Abuja, the senator said the apex bank did not inform Senate on its plan to introduce N5000 note and to coin the existing N5, N10 and N20 notes.
He said “Senate has not been informed about it, contrary to section 8(4) and section 5(b) of the CBN Act 2007. Which states that the CBN must inform the National Assembly, before embarking on any monetary policy, and for a policy that has far reaching implication on Nigeria and Nigerians, there must be wide consultations and elected representatives of Nigerians must be involved.”
Galaudu said it appears there has been a communication gap between the CBN and the National Assembly saying, “There is abundant proof that the government is becoming alienated from the ordinary Nigerian and that certain policies have become economic strangulation. The move by the CBN has stirred a national outcry because it is anti-people, regressive and elitist.”
The senator dismissed CBN’s claim that introduction of N5000 notes will compliments its cashless policy saying “Personally I disagree with this position because if you encourage Nigerians to stop transactions in cash and even charge them money for doing so and then introduce a high denomination, it is not only a contradiction but in fact playing with the intelligence of Nigerians”.
“Let me give you an example in the United States where in 1946 high denominations of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 were introduced but due to the introduction of electronic banking and less use of physical cash, these higher denominations were withdrawn from circulation in 1969.
Thus currently the highest denomination in United States is $100 note. Furthermore, from time immemorial British pounds sterling highest denomination is £50”, he said.