Daily Trust (Abuja)

27 August 2012

Nigeria: NLC - N5,000 Note Will Affect Psychology of Nigerian Workers

Kaduna — The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has opposed the proposed introduction of N5000 note and coining of Nigeria's lower denominations next year as announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) because it would affect the psychology of the Nigerian workers.

"Psychologically, for the working people, it means they work so much for little notes with introduction of N5000. This may fuel crisis of expectation for more wage increase as bigger banknotes will be chasing fewer goods. Nigeria is better with smaller banknotes that can deliver goods and services rather than higher bills without any value", it said.

General Secretary of the labour union Comrade Issa Aremu told newsmen in Kaduna yesterday that the bank should rather be more concerned about improving the value of the Nigerian currency as against others in the international market.

"The current highest banknote of N1000 was introduced in 2005. We had currency review in 2007 and 2009. It should not be customary for every CBN governor to change the nation's banknotes. Incessant turning out of higher banknotes is an attempt to legitimize the devaluation of the Nigerian currency. There is a direct relationship between higher banknotes and devaluation of the currency.

"The CBN should concentrate on stabilizing the value of the Naira rather than legitimizing the devaluation of the currency. CBN under Sanusi Lamido Sanusi should continue with the good work they are doing with respect to revival of manufacturing sector and management of inflation and interest rates. The double digit inflation rate as we currently have cannot take us out of the economic crisis", Aremu said.

The labour union also spoke on incessant strikes by trade unions in the country, saying Nigeria would continue to experience strikes and fuel crises as long as the country continued to import fuel.

Aremu said as long as the nation remained import driven, the issue of subsidies and the problems associated with it would not stop until production commenced in an optimal capacity.

"The government must work towards fixing our refineries. All the actors rather than fighting each other must work to ensure sustainable production of petroleum products at home through fixing of the refineries. Only this way can we ensure stability in the sector and distribution and supply of petroleum products," he said.

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