Reps. summon CBN Governor over ban on foreign currency deposits

The House of Representatives on Tuesday
summoned the Governor of the Central Bank
of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to explain the
recent policy directing commercial banks to
reject foreign currency deposits.
This followed the unanimous adoption of a
motion under Matters of Urgent Public
Importance sponsored by Rep. Emmanuel
Ekon (Akwa-Ibom, PDP).
Mr. Ekon said although the CBN Act of 2007
confers the bank with the power to devise
suitable mechanism for the exchange of the
Naira periodically, Nigerians need to
understand the merits of the policy.
“Though the policy may have both short and
long term economic benefits for the country,
Nigerians do not have any explanation from
the CBN on the merits or otherwise of the
said policy.
“The apex bank has not created avenues to
address the fears of parents wishing to
remit money for their children’s education
or manufacturers placing orders for goods
abroad.
“The explanation of the said policy to
members of this House by the Governor of
the Central Bank will enable us to
disseminate the information to our
respective constituents,’’ Mr. Ekon said.
The lawmaker further explained that if the
CBN fails to sensitise Nigerians, the policy
might become counterproductive as it
appeared to have been misunderstood
already by the public.
“There are lots of panic within the economy
as we speak.
“People don’t know what becomes of their
businesses which largely depend on foreign
exchange for transaction.
“Banks are crying, Bureau De-Change
operators are crying and importers are also
crying.
“There is need for the CBN to carry out
adequate sensitisation of the public
regarding this policy by way of explaining
the policy and its benefits, otherwise, the
nation’s economy may suffer for it.’’
Also, Chris Azubogu (Anambra-PDP) said
Nigerians needed to be properly informed
and educated about the policy.
He said “when we get better explanations,
people will know what it is all about.
“Also, bank customers will know the limit of
borrowing and take into cognisance the
need to prepare their minds for what they
want to embark on,’’ Mr. Azubogu said.
The Deputy Whip of the House, Pally Iriase,
also expressed his support for the motion.
He said “domiciliary account is one asset
that a country that does not have a viable
foreign exchange market uses to transact
business abroad.
“We should be able to sit down with the CBN
to find out what the CBN has done with this
policy so we can make informed decisions,’’
Mr. Iriase said.
However, Obinna Chidoka’s (Anambra-PDP) ,
was ruled out of order in his submission
that the CBN boss had already been
summoned by the Senate on the same
matter.
According to him, the motion is unnecessary
as its concerns will be addressed when the
CBN governor appears before the Senate
which has already summoned him on the
state of the economy.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, in
his ruling, stressed the need for interaction
with the bank’s management for the
purpose of informing Nigerians.
He said “if you look at the last motion in the
Senate, this is very different.
“As we speak, there is serious confusion out
there.
“The reason for allowing the presentation of
this motion is that we all have to be
sensitised on what the CBN is doing.’’
The motion was thereafter unanimously
adopted by the House.

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