CBN to introduce N5,000 banknote, N20 coin, re-design others Q1 2013 *Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, Alhaja Sawaba Gambo pictures to be on N5,000 note
Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday announced a holistic restructuring of the nation’s currencies, with a plan to introduce N5,000 banknote, N5, N10 and N20 coins from first quarter of 2013.
Giving the hint at a media briefing in Abuja, the Governor of the Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, said the introduction of the higher denomination banknote would complement the bank’s cashless policy by reducing the volume of currency in circulation in the long term just as the redesigning of other old notes and redenomination of others into coins would enhance their security and other transactional features.
According to the apex bank’s boss, the restructuring exercise code-named ‘Project Cure’, will ultimately change the Naira currency structure to 12, comprising of six coins and six banknote denominations.
He explained that the N5,000 banknote will have pictures of three Nigerian heroine and nationalists, namely Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Mrs Margaret Ekpo and Alhaja Sawaba Gambo on the front while the National Assembly pictures would be the illustrations at its back.
Citing many international economies where introduction of higher denomination of banknotes has not led to higher inflation rate to debunk the argument that introducing higher Naira banknotes would necessarily worsen the inflationary trend in the economy, Mallam Sanusi said rather the exercise would translate to immeasurable gains for the country based on the cost-saving and other benefits to the economy in the long run.
He explained: “On the 28th of November, 2011, the CBN Board considered and approved the new currency series. It subsequently sought and on the 19th of December, 2011 obtained the approval of His Excellency, the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.
“Under the structure, the existing denominations of N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 will be designed with added security features. It is our pleasure to inform you that a new high currency denomination will also be introduced. It is the N5,000 note. In the same vein, the lower banknote denominations of N5, N10 and N20 will be coined. Consequently, the Naira currency structure will now be twelve; these are six coins and six banknote denominations”, Sanusi added.
He listed the objectives of the exercise to include, upgrading the design of the entire range of currency denominations in order to enhance the quality and integrity of the banknotes; incorporating a more effective feature for the visually challenged; and introduction of new security features on the redesigned banknotes to enable the bank take ownership and control of the new features on the series and eliminate payment of royalties on patented security features.
Other benefits of the restructuring process are, achieving an optimal currency structure that will ensure cost effectiveness and balanced mix and utilization of all the currency denominations; introducing new series of coins that would be generally acceptable for purposes of transaction; and reducing the cost of production, distribution and disposal of banknotes.
Sanusi said the apex bank in collaboration with other stakeholders had carried out extensive researches before coming out with the restructuring exercise, adding that in order to ensure hitch-free, user-friendly implementation, the phasing out of the existing old denominations would be gradual with a view to ensuring that the overall interest of Nigerians is not undermined in the process.
He explained further that the exercise was also in conformity with international best practices which require monetary authorities to review their nation’s currencies at intervals of between five and eight years, pointing out that the last comprehensive review of the nation’s currency was carried out in 2005.