Author : JOSHUA BASSEY
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has faulted the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) planned reversal of the policy of using polymer notes for lower naira denominations, describing as “irritating the rate at which official policies come up and fizzle out in the apex bank and other major institutions in the country”.
The central labour body in a statement signed by Peter Esele and Musa Lawal, president-general and secretary, respectively, insisted that the policy reversal would be a drain on the nation’s purse, and not necessary at this time.
Raising further query over this, it said, “How do we explain the fact that just a few years after the policy of printing lower naira denominations – N5, N10, N20 and N50 – in polymer was introduced during Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s tenure as CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi Lamido and his incumbent team is proposing to reverse the idea? Our thinking is that this is ridiculous! We all know that such a policy summersault will cost us enormous scarce resources. And who will bear the cost? The masses!
“The claim that the planned action would not constitute a drain on the nation’s economy is not only untenable but criminal. If polymer can fade away paper can also tear. We have experienced this truth years ago, and that is precisely why the polymer notes were introduced. In any case, as at today there are still some naira denominations in paper form, but that has not added any value to the naira. Indeed it cannot, because among other reasons, a sizeable number of our leaders have their monies in hard currency.”
Continuing, the congress states: “As things stand now, Nigeria has enough issues on our hands: issues that should receive greater priority attention. As a labour centre, we think that everyone in the nation should be more concerned about the thousands of innocent Nigerians who have died or are dying because of insincerity and or lack of focus by the government and politicians.”