The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has opposed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency redesign programme describing it as “a continued and persistent inconsistency in policy objectives.”
The labour centre called on the central bank to immediately suspend the policy and allow it to be discussed nationally before any further action is taken.
It also called on Federal Government to “withdraw its consent to this obvious further desecration of the currency and properly reappraise the objective informing it so that better alternatives which abound could be fashioned”.
The congress maintained that the CBN was not serving the interest of Nigerians in the new proposal as it is capable of further worsening the economic crisis, which CBN’s actions under its present leadership in the past have also assisted in exacerbating.
TUC, in a statement issued by the President General and Secretary, Mr. Peter Esele and Mr. John Kolawole, respectively argued that coining the N5, N10 and N20 denominations would do a psychological damage to the value of the Naira.
The congress wondered why the CBN should consider it too expedient at this time to also pursue concurrently the printing of more currencies especially the jumbo N5, 000 note, if it truly seeks to pursue a cashless economy.
This, it argued would clearly put more cash readily into people’s hands with its attendant consequences of inflation that had been variously canvassed in the time past.
Speaking further, the congress said the new programme would facilitate the movement of large volumes of cash and serve as a better vehicle for handling the proceeds of corruption.
It maintained that the CBN should concentrate effort on creating values domestically that would bolster the value of our currency rather than tinkering with the currency.
“We are surprised that the CBN could at this time decide to embark on the mission to make changes to the nation’s currency and to also create a N5,000 denomination. The intention at coining the N5, N10 and N20 denominations does a psychological damage to the value of the Naira. We consider this a deep confirmation of our fears that those managing the different facets of our nation’s economy do not have time to give deep thought to their policies before churning them out and executing them.
“If the objective is truly the pursuit of a cashless economy, why will the CBN consider it too expedient at this time to also pursue concurrently the printing of more currencies especially the jumbo N5,000 note. We do not understand why those in leadership position will continue shunning the voice of the people especially when the predictions of the people over time have come to be the case eventually in most of the cases. We see this rather as a sign of a monetary system management gone awry and the deeper malaise of the continued wrong – headed management of the nation’s foreign exchange receipts.
“The CBN is clearly not serving the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians in this new proposal as it is capable of further worsening the economic crisis which CBN’s actions under its present leadership in the past have also assisted in exacerbating.
“We do not see any serious value in what the CBN intends to do especially at this time when we are confronted with bigger issues of Insecurity, unemployment, hunger, Poverty, disease, decaying social and physical infrastructure and the deepening of mistrust and widening of the ethnic gaps within the nation,” the congress stated.