When I read the headline tagged “CBN restructures Naira”, I thought it was another impending macroeconomic policy aimed at reducing cash liquidity within the economy. It was when I read the story that the import of what the CBN is planning to do struck me. Since the news broke out, I’ve been receiving calls from my friends overseas who are wondering how this will happen and what impact it will have on our economy.
According to the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, this policy is aimed at reducing inflationary rates to single digit, reduce cash liquidity within the economy and restore the value of the naira to what it was in 1985 before the Structural Adjustment programme was initiated under the Babangida regime. What it means is that the CBN will be knocking off two zeroes from our current currency, higher denominated currency will be phased out while the highest currency note by next year will be N20.
So it got me thinking on how this will affect our lives as Nigerians. Does it mean that a loaf of bread currently selling for N25 will now be sold for 25kobo; pure water will be sold for 5k; will salaries be reviewed upward or downward to reflect the proposed new value; does this mean that a new car (Toyota) will only cost N20,000; the cost of buying a cow for social events will now be N500 against the old price of N50,000, what happens to housing rates? Will Landlords be willing to receive N5,000 for two years instead of N500,000? Does it mean if I have a bank balance of N1mn, I now have N10,000, what happens to the value of the stocks quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange?
Does it mean that it’ll now be cheaper to study abroad without necessarily cleaning out your account? Will a complete set of gold accessories be sold for N1,000 or less? Will it be cheaper to travel for vacations and summer trips? Does it mean for my current job role, I will be paid an amount that is at par with what my counterpart within the same job role in America is currently earning? Will it put a stop to incessant money spraying at social events? Will a basket of tomatoes be sold for N3.50k? Will it put an end to the long queues at the various foreign embassies where Nigerians are seeking greener pastures? Will it lead to increased foreign investments within the country? Will the cost of production be cheaper? Will fuel be sold for 7kobo? Will Nigerians abroad come back home or what? Will it reduce the moneybag syndrome? Will it increase the value of the naira within the African region? Will it?… Will it?… Will it?… endless questions you say…
These are some of the questions running through my mind right now. The Central Bank of Nigeria needs to embark on an awareness campaign to drive the import of this ongoing policy in the minds of the people. We must be carried along to ensure a successful implementation.