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Female activists Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, others to be used on NEW N5,000 Note

Female activists Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, others to be used on NEW N5,000 Note

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday announced a comprehensive review of the structure of the nation’s currency that would lead to the introduction of a N5,000 bill as the highest naira denomination next year.
The N5, N10 and N20 notes will also be converted to coins as part of the review.
The CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, who made the announcement while briefing journalists in Abuja, said the bank would, early next year, introduce the N5,000 note.
Sanusi said the new N5,000 note would have the portraits of three women who fought for the country’s independence.
They are Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Hajiya Gambo Sawaba. In addition, Sanusi said the back of the N5,000 note would have the picture of the National Assembly complex.
Margaret Ekpo
Born in Creek Town, Cross River State in 1914, Ekpo was a women’s rights activist, social mobiliser and pioneering female politician in the country’s First Republic. She led the women’s wing of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons in the move toward decolonisation. Ekpo died in 2006 and the Calabar airport is named after her.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti
Ransome-Kuti, born in Abeokuta in 1900, was the mother of the late Afro beat legend, Fela. Fela’s mother was an educator and activist. In 1949, she led a protest against the Native Authorities leading to the abdication of the throne by the then Alake of Egbaland. And joined by Ekpo, she led the protest against the killings of Enugu miners in the 1950s. She died in 1978 from injuries she sustained when soldiers who stormed Fela’s Kalakuta Republic threw her out from a second floor window of her son’s house.
 Hajiya Gambo Sawaba
 Born in 1933, Sawaba was a woman of modest education but a very active personality. She was a politician and activist who had sympathy for the Northern Elements Progressive Union in the First Republic. NEPU was a party identified with the working class and the poor.
Sawaba gave the colonial authorities a tough time with her agitations consequent upon which she was detained several times.
The CBN governor said the currency review, which he called, “Project Cure,” would allow the bank to convert lower denominations of N5, N10 and N20 into coins.
This, according to him, will increase the naira structure from 11 to 12, divided into six coin and six banknote denominations.
Sanusi said 50k, N1, N2, N5, N10 and N20 would now be in coins, while the banknotes would be N50, N100, N200, N500, N1,000 and N5,000.
He said the introduction of the new currency notes would be a gradual process, as they would circulate simultaneously with the old series until they were fully withdrawn from circulation.
“There will be no urgent need for exchange of the old for the new banknotes by the public for as long as the old banknotes are in circulation; they will remain legal tenders,” he said.
The exercise, he explained, was aimed at upgrading the design of the entire range of currency denominations in order to enhance their quality and integrity, incorporate more effective features for the visually challenged, and introducing new security features on the redesigned banknotes.
Others are to achieve an optimal currency structure that will ensure cost effectiveness and balanced mix and utilisation of all the currency denominations; introduce new series of coins that will be generally acceptable for the purpose of transactions; and reducing the cost of production, distribution and disposal of banknotes by introducing higher bills that will reduce the volume and cost of banknotes in circulation
The governor said the savings made from the reduction in production cost would be used to provide incentives for the usage and acceptance of coins.
He said, “We are about to embark on another comprehensive review of our national currency structure. As a means of realising these objectives, several entities have collaborated to redesign the new currency series.
“These include the Currency Operations Department, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company and competent international consultants.
“On November 28, 2011, the CBN board considered and approved the new currency series. It subsequently sought and on December 19, 2011, obtained the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan. Under the new structure, the existing denominations notes of N50, N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 will be redesigned with added new 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 12 and efforts are being put in place to ensure that the redesigned N50 and the new N5,000 banknotes should be launched early 2013.”
The CBN boss said the need to encourage the usage of coins, curb inflationary pressures, enhance the quality of banknotes as well as promote the cash-less policy informed the decision to restructure the currency.
Sanusi said in line with international best practices, monetary authorities were required to review their nation’s currencies at intervals of between five and eight years.
This, he added, was usually done to address the weaknesses and challenges identified in circulating banknotes, which usually arose from innovations in technology, aesthetics and security considerations, among others.
However, he said in the case of Nigeria, the N100 note was restructured in December 1999 (13 years ago), N200, November 2000 (12 years ago); N500, April 2001 (11 years ago); and N1,000, October 2005 (seven years ago).
The governor said the last comprehensive review of the currency was carried out in 2005, which resulted in the introduction of the N20 polymer banknote followed by the varnishing of the N5, N10 and N50 banknotes in 2007.
These lower denomination notes were eventually converted into polymer banknotes in 2009.
He explained that a survey carried out by the bank on the existing currency series in 2010 revealed that there was public apathy towards the usage of coins, and the vanished lower denominations failed to adequately meet the expected longevity and tactile feature for the visually impaired.
Asked if the decision would not fuel inflation, he said, “It has been argued that the introduction of a higher denomination banknote could exert inflationary pressures in the economy. Inflation in Nigeria is a monetary phenomenon. Secondly, in some countries such as Singapore, Germany and Japan, the highest denominations are 10,000 SGB, €500 and 10,000 yen, respectively.
“These denominations have relatively high dollar equivalent. The levels of inflation are, however, low at 2.8 per cent, 1.1 per cent and -0.7 per cent, respectively as of 2010. Furthermore, we believe that the introduction of a higher bill will complement the bank’s cash-less policy, as it will substantially reduce the volume of currency in circulation, particularly in the long term.”
Sanusi said the apex bank would liaise with the relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government, Deposit Money Banks, road transport workers, market operators, small businesses and supermarkets to create avenues for the usage of coins.


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Staff K
Staff K

Francisca (Viv) has over 10+ years of writing experience in press releases, feature articles, promotions, copywriting for small businesses and manufacturers in various industries. She brings a wealth of experience and is the "calmer" when these is a storm. She loves to travel and read.

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