- Femi Falana has kicked against allowing the floating of the naira as suggested by international organisations
- The human rights activist said that only the CBN has the authority to fix the currency rate
- He advised Nigeria to start trading in naira with China
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Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has opposed federal government's plans to let market forces, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank determine Nigeria's foreign exchange rate.
Speaking at the 2023 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, Falana said only the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has the authority to fix the currency rate
The CBN had on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, said all forex transactions should be done through the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, thereby abolishing the country's parallel and other forex markets.
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Mixed reactions trail floating of naira
Tinubu's decision to allow the naira, the country's currency, to float has drawn controversy.
While some people welcomed the decision, others criticised it.
Critics of the policy argued that the naira's floating as well as the elimination of fuel subsidies had substantially exacerbated the difficult economic circumstances that Nigerians are currently suffering.
Falana, according to a report, stated that the CBN has the only authority to fix the currency rate.
“Section 16 of the CBN Act gives no room for market forces to fix the exchange rate. It is the CBN that shall determine…it is not for the IMF or World Bank or market forces to fix it.”
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Falana advises Nigeria to strengthen trade with China
Falana advised the government to start trading in naira with nations like the People's Republic of China in order to help the country's dire economic predicament.
He maintained that the high demand for dollars, which placed a strain on Nigeria's economy, will drop or stop if the roughly $22 billion import from China is conducted in naira.
Notably, the nation's refineries are located in several branches of the NBA. Falana specifically ordered lawyers to start monitoring development at the refineries given that the government has allocated $1.4 billion for the projects.
The human rights campaigner urged the country's umbrella organisation of lawyers to concentrate on certain areas of the Tinubu administration and the federal government.
He said this will help to ensure that the government, and consequently the nation, gets it right this time around.
In a related development, Falana called for the monthly publication of information on the funds distributed among the federal, state, and local governments. He pointed out that doing so would make it simple for citizens to track the money and to ask state executives pertinent questions.
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