Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, dismisses the wide-spread rumour that the N5,000 whose proposed introduction sparked off protests, have already been printed
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Dec. 23, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
THE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has refuted the rumour that it had printed the controversial new N5,000 notes and coins that the National Assembly had earlier stopped it from printing. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, CBN governor, disclosed this at the 5th Bankers’ Committee retreat held in Calabar, Cross River State.
He said as a result of all the noise around N5, 000 notes and coins, that process was stopped. “We did not print the new notes. I know some people think we have already printed, but we did not print the new notes and we did not award contract for the new notes. We have re-ordered banknotes and I think they have started arriving and probably you would have seen some improvements on that by now,” he said.
The Bankers’ Committee also assured Nigerians and other stakeholders in the banking sector of its continuous collaboration to promote an efficient and stable economy for the country. The CBN governor explained that the committee has revalidated its goals to include the modernisation of the payment system; shared services and infrastructure for the financial industry to reduce cost; increased funding of small and medium enterprises; agriculture; power and telecommunication sectors.
“Modernisation of the financial services industry infrastructure and payment system is critical to reduce cost of services to the banking public. We will continue to explore and develop areas of collaboration in shared services and infrastructure to reduce the operating cost structure of the industry,” he said.
Sanusi urged members of the committee to build the Nigerian banking system to become one of the best in the World. Going back the memory lane, the governor recalled how at the maiden retreat held in Enugu in 2009, the committee was confronted with a banking system that was in serious crisis. He traced the series of unpopular but courageous decisions and steps that were taken to rescue the Nigerian banking system and place it in its current enviable state.
He enumerated several of the achievements attained in the banking sector during his tenure as CBN governor. On monetary policy, he pointed out that decisions have been taken in a way devoid of arbitrariness, with members given the latitude to make their independent voting decisions. He noted that personal statements of individual members of the Monetary Policy Committee are published alongside the actual decisions made and consequently they are now public records.
In the wake of this, stability had been maintained over the years and inflation driven down from over 13 percent in 2009 to below 7.8 percent as at October 2013. It is expected that the single-digit inflation will be sustained in the foreseeable future. The CBN governor explained that as far as monetary policy was concerned, the CBN had delivered 100 percent on its mandate.
On exchange rate stability, Sanusi, said that while the currencies of most emerging markets lost appreciable value in their currencies, in double digit range, the naira lost only 2.3 per cent during the period.