President Goodluck Jonathan has agreed to put on hold the plan to introduce the 5000 naira note.
The President met with the leadership of the National Assembly after the sessions of the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday and the vexed issue of N5000, which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intended to unveil next year was one of the top issues on the agenda.
Sources said that Jonathan told the lawmakers that approval given on the N5000 note could be reversed if it was the wish of the people.
However, it was not immediately known if the President had directed the CBN to suspend action on the currency restructuring. It remains unclear whether the president has issued a directive to that effect.
Meanwhile, Information Minister, Labaran Maku has said that the National Assembly resolution, which urged the president to stop the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from going with the currency restructuring was not binding on the executives.
Speaking with journalists on Tuesday during a forum organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists,( NUJ) Peoples Forum, Maku declared that the Federal Government might not ask the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi to halt the process on the introduction of N5000 notes.
Maku submitted that the resolutions of the National Assembly did not carry weight as they were merely advisory and not Act of Parliament.
Maku dismissed all the several counter opinions being expressed about introduction of N5000 notes as unnecessary and needless, as the CBN was entrusted by law to manage the country’s monetary policies.
HE SAID: “I believe we should allow CBN to have leadership on this issue. This is not an opinion poll debate but a technical matter and the heated debate will not help in the management of our economy.”
Maku, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had not foreclosed avenues for dialogue with the federal lawmakers but it should not be misconstrued that the resolution of the two chambers of the National Assembly was totally binding on the Federal Government.
He said: “The National Assembly has oversight functions and the executive takes resolutions of the National Assembly seriously but resolutions are not Acts of Parliament.
“We can discuss, debate resolutions, take them seriously and factor them but they are not Act of National Assembly.”
Speaking on the clamour for the Federal Government to return to the International Court of Justice, ICJ, over Bakassi peninsula which was ceded to Cameroun by the court, Maku equally foreclosed further discussions over the Bakassi impasse.
He said: “Nigeria does not have a new position. Nigeria’s position is in conformity with the judgement of the International Court of Justice.”
Maku also used the NUJ Peoples Forum to throw light on the proposed tour of project sites nationwide by select journalist tagged National Good Governance Tour, even as he submitted that it was too early to judge the performance of the administration of President Jonathan less than two years into his four year tenure.
He said: “A lot of projects are going on today but they are highly under reported by the media. Rather, personality clashes take dominance on front pages.”
He further enunciated the Federal Government’s achievements in sectors like power supply where the megawatts produced had tripled even before the completion of the 10 new power stations. SUN