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Gbajabiamila faults FG’s stand on naira policy

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has faulted the decision of the Federal Government to disregard the Supreme Court order on the issue of currency swap.

Mr Gbajabiamila, in a statement, said though the president’s directive was a step in the right direction, the Federal Government could not afford situations that “suggest a wanton disregard for the rule of law.

“This morning, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, announced that he has authorised the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reintroduce the old N200 notes into circulation, pending when the Bank can make sufficient amounts of the new currency available.

“This is a step in the right direction, and I hope it helps curb Nigerians’ suffering.”However, the decision still falls short of the order of the Supreme Court that the old currencies remain legal tender pending the adjudication of a pending suit brought by state governments on the legality of the policy.

The speaker urged Nigerians to resist actions that escalate tensions and endanger the nation’s democracy at this crucial moment of national awakening and rebirth.

According to him, Section 20(3) of the CBN Act, 2007 provides the statutory authority for the apex bank to initiate and implement policies for the recall of Nigerian currency.

He said based on the provisions of the law, there are three conditions precedent for the CBN to recall existing Naira notes.

According to him, the first is that the permission of the President must be obtained, and the second is that reasonable notice shall be given, while the third is that the CBN shall pay the face value of the recalled currency upon receipt.

He noted that the current scarcity of cash is happening because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not sufficiently replace the old currency it pulled out of circulation across the country, which has created an artificial scarcity that put significant additional pressure on the already epileptic electronic banking channels.

resulting in a near-complete collapse of trade in the country.

Writing by Ibrahim Shehu; editing by Julian Osamoto