The Central Bank of Nigeria should have launched a N5,000 note rather than redesigning the current notes, according to Sola Obadimu, Director-General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture.
Obadimu made this statement, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.
Although the new naira policy was commendable, he claimed that if it had been handled properly, the strain on the general populace would have been reduced.
He said that the introduction of a N5,000 note would have eliminated the amount of money in circulation while causing less discomfort for Nigerians.
He claimed that without the new strategy, the hardships Nigerians were currently experiencing would not have existed or would have been drastically minimized.
“If I were the CBN governor, all I would have done was to have introduced N5,000 note.
“That would have helped to mop up the money in circulation without the kickbacks we are getting,’’ he said.
The DG said if that was done, the CBN would have spent less money printing new notes.
He also said the whole process would have been more cost effective, adding, “because it is a higher denomination, fewer amounts of bills would have been printed.’’
Obadimu said besides the ongoing swap, the strength of the naira against foreign currencies was a major concern.
According to him, it is saddening to note that the naira is weak against foreign currencies, particularly the dollar and Euro.
“Another thing is that our highest denomination, which is N1, 000, is only worth two dollars at official rate and it is not too good for our image.
“There are 50 and 100 Euro notes and how much is 100 Euro note in naira.
“A Euro is almost N1,000. So, 100 Euro is about N100,000.
“That is just a bill and ours is worth just two dollars, which is not good for our image.’’
On the move to switch fully to a cashless policy, the DG said it was a laudable initiative because “that is where the world is heading to.
“Digital economy is the new world order.
“For instance the government is talking about cashless economy which is good because the world is moving toward full digitisation, a paperless world.
“I remember decades ago, we had post office which is now basically non-existent,’’ he said.