The Bankers’ Committee yesterday endorsed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency restructuring exercise which aims to introduce N5000 note and coins into circulation by next year.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, the bankers said the introduction will boost economic activities in the country and will also reduce the cost of production.
The Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa Phillips Oduoza, who spoke alongside the Chief Executive Officers of other banks, said the currency restructuring will benefit the government, bank customers and business operators.
He said: “For instance it will reduce the cost of printing currency. The cost of printing a unit currency remains the same. When you print N5000 notes and you are printing one million of that and you are printing N100 notes and one million of that, you will find out that you are going to have less currency as far as N5000 notes are concern. Therefore, the cost is reduced.
“The second thing is in terms of efficiency and cost reduction and as far as the banking sector is concern, the higher denomination makes sense. It will take you a hundred pieces to fit into an ATM for N100 notes and it will take you less than that for N5000 notes.
“If you are moving cash as banks normally do within various locations, you will find out that you do less number of runs. The cost savings will ultimately be passed on to the end users, who are the customers of banks.
“You see them in the areas of reduction in interest rates and so on. One of the things that lead to high interest rates is the cost of operations. As that goes down the benefit goes to customers.”
The bankers said that the introduction of the currency will not lead to higher inflation.
Also speaking on the allegation raised by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission that banks are undermining its operations by shielding corrupt persons, the bankers said they will engage the EFCC to know the areas they want improved.
Oduoza said: “What the banks have done was to champion the anti-corruption through knowing your customers. The whole idea is to make sure that suspicious transactions are traced and that only good customers are brought into the banking system.
“The reports are in file and when we saw that publication that the banks are not forthcoming with information, as an industry we will like to engage the EFCC to know the specific areas. It is important for us to engage the EFCC to know the areas of improvement that they will like to look at.”