Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senate on Tuesday gave its support for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policies, even in the face of the continued fall of the Naira value.
It particularly stressed that CBN’s policies, which have resulted in the current depreciation of the Naira, are meant to encourage local production and other economic opportunities.
Earlier, the Red Chamber had met with the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, behind closed door over the fallen value of the Naira.
Addressing Senate correspondents, after the Plenary, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi, pointed out that the policies are geared towards safeguarding the nation’s commonwealth and expansion of economic opportunities and growth.
Sabi, however, acknowledged that the measures taken by the Apex Bank have caused pains to Nigerians, especially as regards shortages of foreign exchange for legitimate businesses.
He stated that the CBN presented details and comprehensive account of the performance of the Nigerian economy in last one year in line with Section 8 of the CBN Act 2007, which mandate the Bank to brief the National Assembly on its activities periodically.
According to him, the presentation of the CBN Governor rekindled hope that Nigeria is still on the right tracks and even doing better in terms of macroeconomic indices than other nations.
Sabi also disclosed that questions were raised regarding the issues of the stoppage of sales of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, gradual rise in inflation, fall in the exchange reserves and exclusion of some items from access to foreign exchange as well as fiscal and monetary authorities.
“Following an exhaustive response by both the Governor and his team, the Senate acknowledged that these are indeed difficult times all over the world and not just in Nigeria. The Senate also acknowledged the pains that many people may be facing at this time, especially in light of shortages of foreign exchange for legitimate business.
“But having carefully considered the policies of the CBN, the Senate would like to commend and support these policies because they are mostly geared towards increasing local production, creating jobs here in Nigeria, safeguarding our commonwealth and expanding economic opportunities and growth in Nigeria.
“It is critical that we all put hands together to seek long term solutions to our underlying problem of non-diversification of foreign exchange earning and revenues, rather than pointing fingers or apportioning blames. The Senate believes strongly in the resilience of the Nigerian economy and the ingenuity of the Nigerian people, and as such, we are confident that we will all pull through these difficulties and come out as a much better, equitable and prosperous nation,” he declared.
It would be recalled that the Senate had, last Thursday, summoned Emefiele to appear before it by 11 a.m. on Tuesday to give explanations on the continuous weakening of Naira against the Dollar.
This was sequel to a Point of Order raised by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume.
Saraki subsequently directed Ndume to convey Senate’s resolution to the CBN boss.
“The Leader, in line with our rules, 42(1), did mention this, and in line with our rules also, we must get the views of the senators that we should stand this down till Tuesday next week.
“Leader, you convey and invite the Central Bank Governor to come on Tuesday by 11 to present this before the Senate,” he said.
While raising his point of order, Ndume said that it was expedient for the Upper Legislative Chamber to invite the CBN boss to brief it.
“As at today, Naira is exchanged for N305 to $1. In view of this worrisome situation and the fact that we all know that this country depends so much on imported materials and even food, there is a need for this Senate to, as a matter of urgency, call invite or summon the Governor of CBN to explain this situation and to provide the necessary solution to this situation,” Ndume said.
Senate Backs CBN As Naira Falls Freely
Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja