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N5000 update: President Jonathan officially suspends CBN currency plan

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President Goodluck Jonathan has directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to step down moves on the introduction of N5000 note, to enable CBN conduct more enlightenment campaign on the policy, Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati said on Thursday evening. Elombah.com reported yesterday that President Jonathan met behind

closed doors with the leadership of the National Assembly on Tuesday night where the two arms of government reviewed the project and agreed in principle to explore the possibility of shelving it.

Both chambers of the National Assembly, after debates at their plenary sessions on Tuesday, had adopted motions rejecting the project.

In separate motions, the parliamentarians unanimously voted against the currency restructuring exercise and urged Jonathan to direct the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to halt it.

The currency restructuring recently announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would have seen the unveiling of the N5000 note as the highest naira denomination while lower currencies – N5, N10 and N20 – were to be converted to coins.

Weeks of public outrage criticizing the policy culminated in the Senate and the House of Representatives, approving separate resolutions on Tuesday, demanding that the plan be suspended.

Mr Abati, responding to inquiries, said “the introduction is being suspended for now to enable the CBN do more enlightenment on the issue.”

He said President Jonathan has directed that the implementation of the new N5000 note be suspended for now.

“This is to enable the apex bank to do more in terms of enabling Nigerians understand why it proposed it in the first place,” he said.

“For now, the full implementation is on hold,” he added

sanusiMeanwhile The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The association has also disclosed plan to convoke a Summit on Peace and Security in Nigeria to address the insecurity in the nation.

NBA said it was embarrassed that the apex bank had not been able to offer any sensible answer to the fears raised by Nigerians over the plan to introduce N5, 000 note. Speaking on Thursday in Abuja, at the Summit on the future of the NBA with the theme “The Nigerian Bar Association: The Past, Present and the Future”, Its President, Okey Wali (SAN) expressed surprise that Sanusi could insult former President Olusegun Obasanjo for holding a contrary view. Amazed by the growing obsession for power under the president’s watch, the association charged him to initiate the process that will lead to removal of Sanusi.

He said: “It may well be that the CBN has a case, but the problem is that they are not giving any sensible answer to the fears expressed by Nigerians, aside from such pedestrian reason as, it will make Nigerians to hold Naira instead of Dollar. “We are supposed to be in a democracy and since Nigerians have rejected the policy, even their elected representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday 18th of September, 2012 condemned the plan.

Rather than listen to Nigerians, the CBN is engrossed in distribution of insults and name calling to anybody who dared express a contrary view. To my utter consternation, I watched on National Television as an elder statesman and former President of this country was being called names and ridiculed for daring to hold a contrary view.

That is a big shame. “Since all indices show that Nigerians do not want the N5,000 note, even if the leadership of the CBN is right, we believe that they are bound by the wishes of the people or they should take the honorable part of resignation, rather than exhibiting such unbridled high level of arrogance and rudeness. 

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