…Hails El-Rufai, Bello, Mattawale for challenging FG policy
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to comply with the judgment of the Supreme Court, which nullified the naira redesign and cash withdrawal limit policy of the apex bank.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement issued in relation to the judgment on Friday, also hailed Governors Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State for challenging the Federal Government and the CBN in court over the policy.
It was titled ‘Statement by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on the Decision of the Supreme Court in the Matter of the naira swap policy.’
The Supreme Court had invalidated the new naira design policy initiated by the Federal Government on the grounds that it was not done with due consultation and in line with constitutional provisions.
The apex court ordered that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes shall continue to be used side by side the newly redesigned notes till December 31, 2023.
The court held that the three months timeline was also not in tune with the Central Bank of Nigeria Act and as such unconstitutional.
The court also faulted the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for declaring that the old N1,000 and N500 notes had ceased to be legal tender and extending the validity of the N200 note till April 10, against an earlier ruling by it that they all remain valid pending the determination of the case.
In his reaction, Gbajabiamila said, “It has always been the position of the House of Representatives that despite the noble intentions behind the currency swap policy, the design and implementation of the policy has been fatally flawed and contradictory to the ends of law and public policy.
“The decision of the Supreme Court suspending the currency swap policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria and extending the implementation deadline to 31st December, 2023, validates the position of the House in its entirety.
“The remarkably haphazard implementation of the currency swap policy fell way short of international standards. It deviated from the prior practice of the CBN without providing any benefits to the Nigerian people or the economy of Nigeria, both of which have suffered significant harm as a result.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria must respect the apex court’s judgment and act quickly to give it full effect. This is necessary to reverse some of the damage done to our economy and prevent the continued suffering of the Nigerian people.”
The Speaker “congratulates and sincerely appreciates ” the APC governors for approaching the Supreme Court to “give a final settlement on this matter.”
He stated, “This was the right thing to do. It showed their collective adherence to the rule of law and their determination to take bold actions that serve the best interests of the Nigerian people.”
Gbajabiamila said while Nigerians anticipate action by the CBN, there is still the need to examine and understand “how this policy intervention turned out in the way it did.”
He noted that the House would exercise its authority to review the “action and inaction, the failures of law and procedure that set the conditions for this profound failure of public policy.”
According to him, this is necessary to ensure the lawmakers take the right legislative actions to prevent future reoccurrence.