Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has condemned what he described as the dollarisation of the Nigerian economy, adding that the country has no business selling crude oil in dollars.
The senior Lawyer accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of turning the economy into ‘Kalo Kalo’ affairs, said it is a matter of concern that landlords collect rent in dollars now while school fees are paid in millions of dollars.
Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday further said he has led a campaign against the dollarisation of the economy to the leadership of the CBN, but regretted that uptil now nothing has been heard despite promise of addressing the situation.
Other analysts have consistently blamed the CBN on the existence of multiple exchange rates, adding that it is like 5he controversial subsidy payments, for which, the intended ‘needy’ are completely sidelined.
According to them, it is a matter of regret that CBN has not been able to explain to the public why and how the black market operators are being sustained even when, CBN is not able to find the dollar needs of Nigerians through the official market for basis needs like school fees and even health.
Consequently, Falana is questioning the position of Nigeria amid the quest by the BRICS countries and others to introduce an international currency to challenge the dollar.
He has called on CBN for the review of the current trade transaction agreement between China and Nigeria, stressing that it is of no benefit paying for goods in Yuan.
“Along our campaign (against dollarization of the economy), the world is moving. The BRICS is now campaigning that it is going to have an international currency to challenge the dollar. About 24 countries have applied to join the body in their next summit that will take place in South Africa. I am simply asking, what is the position of Nigeria?
“Have we reduced ourselves to the footnote of history as far as international affairs are concerned? When you look at section 19 E of the Constitution, it provides that it shall be the duty of the government of Nigeria to promote a new international economic order and that is the world before us.
“We have no business selling our oil, gas, and other products in dollars, we are supposed to ask the buyers to pay in naira so that you can shore up your currency. And that is what Russia is doing currently, China is doing the same, India is doing that,” Falana said
He condemned the central bank for taking advice from the IMF and the World Bank as these bodies believe that the naira is overvalued. Falana also lamented that house rent and school fees are now paid in dollars in some parts of the country.
On the ongoing sitting of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, the human rights Lawyer said not until the constitution is amended, the much expected expeditious hearing as being advocated by some Lawyers will not be achievable.
He blamed some of his colleagues, who, he said are causing confusion, adding that, in the first place, the petitions were not filed within the 21 days after the elections as demanded by law, stressing that this calls for the need for proper deployment of technology and ensuring that it works.
MetroBusinessNews (MBN) investigations showed that while dollars are readily available at the black market, exchanging for between N745 and 750/dollar, deposit money banks have started putting ceiling on withdrawals on dormiciliary account customers due to acute shortage of the greenback.
In fact, it was alleged that ‘dollars reigned’ at the primaries of political parties last year, preparatory to the general elections.
Also, the current scheming for National Assembly leadership is allegedly being oiled by dollars.
The existing multiple exchange rates is seen by some analysts as conduit pipes for siphoning of dollars as well as roundtripping.