Sanusi does U-turn, suspends introduction of N5000 note...under pressure to resign

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Reeling from a barrage of public anger and disagreement, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has buckled under pressure and suspended the planned introduction of the N5000 note following a directive from the presidency. The director of corporate communications of the apex bank, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor however insists that “it is

indeed within the powers of the bank to print new currencies as provided in Section 19(1) of the CBN Act 2007.”

This amazing U-turn came after the presidency through the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, yesterday declared that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered that the planned introduction of N5,000 be put on hold.

Following the development, it has emerged that the CBN goveror, Mallam Lamido Sanusi is under pressure to resign following what his friends referred to as a "humiliation from the presidency".

A source told elombah.com their argument is that "principled Ministers has resigned following a disagreement with the policies of the government", more so in this case where the CBN governor was not given the privilege of announcing the reversal himself but was simply overruled by President Jonathan without consultation with Sanusi.

"I know of a Central bank governor that resigned, following disagreement with the Government over opinions on economic and financial policy published in the Bank’s Annual Reports", he said.

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) had also on Thursday, called for the immediate sack of the governor of the CBN, over the planned introduction.

The overturned re-denomination of Nigeria's currency had been considered  Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's flagship policy. The governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank had explained that printing new N5000 notes will not cost more than the existing notes but will save the country about N7billion. Rather than cost more, sanusi said “since we are saving paper, the report we got showed an annual cost saving of N7billion overall”.

Sanusi also argued the measure will minimise costs and result in saving billions of Naira and said: “The N5,000 note we are talking about is the equivalent of $30 and £20. The US has $100 and £50 notes.”

asanusi

Announcing the change in policy today, a statement by the director of corporate communications of the apex bank, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor however explained that “it is indeed within the powers of the bank to print new currencies as provided in Section 19(1) of the CBN Act 2007.”

The statement further explained that “It also provides that such introduction of the Naira denominations shall be approved by the president upon recommendation of the board.”

“In line with this provision, the CBN had  proposed and obtained the approval of the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to embark on the currency restructuring exercise, codenamed ‘Project Cure’ on December 19, 2011″

“The CBN hereby informs the general public that the president, on Thursday, September 20, 2012, directed that further action on the approved restructuring exercise be stopped.”

“In full compliance with the provisions of the law, the CBN hereby announces that further action on the said restructuring exercise has been stopped, until such a time Mr. President may direct otherwise” the statement read.

It also emphasized that no contract has been awarded by the CBN in connection with the printing and minting of the new currency notes and coins.

“Consequently, no currency note or coin has been printed or minted under the proposed exercise”, the statement added.

And confirming this directive, the president’s spokesman Dr. Reuben Abati stated that the decision to suspend the exercise is to enable the central bank to embark on more enlightenment campaigns.

www.elombah.com 

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