Femi Falana, a human rights attorney, filed a lawsuit to protest what he called the Central Bank of Nigeria’s “illegal” floating of the Naira.
Remember that the apex bank reportedly instructed deposit money banks to freely float the naira against the dollar and other major world currencies on June 14, when it was trading between 730 and 755 to the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.
The CBN website lists the currency rate as being between N744 and N746 as of Friday.
Speaking on Channels TV yesterday, August 18, Falana said that the CBN Act made the apex bank’s currency rate fixing mandatory.
There is no provision for the naira to float. It’s forbidden. You state, “Market forces will determine the value of the naira.” The law says nothing about that.
Because the Central Bank of Nigeria is required by Section 16 of the Central Bank Act to fix and decide the rate of the naira relative to other currencies, I had to sue the bank there.
He pointed out that the CBN Act’s Section 20(1) states that the only legal tender in Nigeria should be the currency notes issued by the Central Bank, or simply “only the naira.”
He said, “The penalty is six months’ imprisonment.” Section 20(5) of the Act further states that anyone who spends any other money in Nigeria without the central bank’s consent has committed an offence “and shall be prosecuted.
“Falana added that “we’re not going to go far” if government officials are unwilling to strengthen the naira and make it the only acceptable form of payment in Nigeria.
The Federal Government’s allocation of N5 billion for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) drew additional comments from the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Falana contended that the actions were diversionary while the National Economic Council (NEC) said that doing so allowed them to obtain food products for distribution to the impoverished in their various states.
They are only temporary solutions. Some of them are pretty pointless, and those in power have not addressed the dollarization of the economy, which is what is causing the issue.
The dollarization of the economy would consume whatever palliatives are announced, he said.