[The Legislative Blog]: We should applaud the Senate for rejecting CBN’s FOREX proposal

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele is obviously in a struggle to keep up with his recent bravado about how his policies have saved the country’s economy from plunging deeper into the recession.

In another bid to save the ailing economy, the Federal Government and the CBN proposed an amendment to the Foreign Exchange Act to allow the imprisonment of anyone in possession of foreign currencies, especially the Dollar, for more than 30 days. The prescribed jail term is two years or a fine of 20 percent of the amount held.

The Nigerian Senate, however, came to the rescue by declaring that it will reject this absurd proposal that is bound to escalate the nation’s economic issues rather than salvage the economy. As it has proven itself to be one of the few working institutions in the country at the moment, the Senate gave the following reasons for its decisions:

  • The move will prevent investors from making free entry and free exit into the Nigerian market.
  • It will sabotage efforts already made and others underway intended to boost investors’ confidence.

Unlike the CBN governor who is actively making efforts to crush Nigerians further in the recession, the Senate is working to cushion the effects of the crisis as it had promised upon resumption from its recess months ago.

The intent of all this talk is not to discredit CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele in the administration of his duties but his policies, as opposed to saving the situation, will drive us deeper into abyss. Early on in the week, he suggested that a tax should be placed on phone calls that last longer than 3 minutes. According to him, the move would favour the poor as he “did not know many poor people who make calls for longer than 3 minutes”.

On the other hand, this is not a Senate appreciation post but it is worthwhile to appreciate the abrupt rejection of this ridiculous policy the CBN was going to dump on us. That’s exactly how to be a watchdog!


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