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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Thanks, But No Thanks: Ekpo, Kuti Families Against CBN Planned Currency Review


The planned introduction of the new
N5,000 note by the Central Bank of
Nigeria (CBN) continued to receive
knocks from various quarters with the
latest one coming from the families of
the personalities whose portraits are
expected to feature on the note.

At the announcement of the proposed
currency review, it was gathered that
the images of late women activists,
Funmilayo Kuti, Margaret Ekpo, and
Gambo Sawaba will feature on the
N5,000 which is planned to be in
circulation by 2013.

In a shocking reaction to the
introduction of the high denomination
note, one of the grandsons of late
Margaret Ekpo, Edward, said, “Looking at
the calibre of women who will grace the
note, I think these are women who paid
their dues. Putting someone’s face on a
currency note is practically the biggest
honour you can give to anybody. But
how do you honour someone for
something that only very few people
are in support of?
“It is a very big thing. I am of the
opinion that if there is something else
that can be used to immortalize the
three of them, fine. I am not in support
of the N5,000 note. There should be
other things, other structures that can
be used to immortalize them. That is
how I feel about it.”

Speaking on a similar note, Robert Ekpo,
another grandson of the matriarch
reportedly said, “In my own opinion, I
think it is unnecessary. I am not in
support of it. It may lead to inflation. It
is a thing of joy having your
grandmom’s photograph on your
country’s currency, but at the same
time, I am not in support of the new
denomination. What I am saying is that
we should look for a way of adding
value to our currency unit instead of
bringing out a bigger denomination.”

Yeni, daughter of Afrobeat legend, Fela
Kuti also contributed her thoughts to the
CBN proposal saying: “The gesture is
nice. I am happy that they are
honouring my grandmother for her
contribution to the freedom of the
country. But I don’t think this is the right
way to do it. Is the new note going to
bring water to the people? Is it going to
stop corruption? Or is it going to make
our roads better and safer?” she asks
rhetorically.

She urged the government to honour
her grandmother by pursuing the ideals
she fought for rather than engage in
tokenism.
“This policy does not conform to her
beliefs and the things she fought for
and represented. The highest accolade
they can give to my grandmother is to
make Nigeria a livable country,” she
said.

The CBN last week announced the
planned introduction of the N5,000
single denomination note, a plan which
analysts believe will further accelerate
inflationary trends in the nation’s
economy.

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