Thursday, 17 November 2022 06:55

Senate resolves to support Naira redesign with legislative oversight

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The senate, on Wednesday, witnessed a rowdy session over the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

A heated argument broke out during a debate on a motion sponsored by Uba Sani, chairman, senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions.

Sani had, in the prayers to his motion, urged the senate to provide legislative support for the policy.

He also asked the upper chamber to mandate his committee to embark on aggressive oversight on the matter.

Sani also urged the senate to support the CBN naira redesign policy, including the January 31 deadline for compliance.

But Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip of the senate, and some other senators supported the CBN policy but called for the extension of the deadline for compliance.

Kalu said the time frame should be extended to April 31, explaining that Nigerians would be occupied with several activities during the festive period and may struggle to meet timeline given by the CBN.

He also asked the senate to invite Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, to shed more light on the policy.

But Gabriel Suswam, senator representing Benue northeast, disagreed with Kalu, saying the CBN governor has persistently failed to honour senate invitations.

He said it would be ridiculous for the senate to give legislative support for a policy that has been concluded on implementation by the CBN.

Suswam further expressed reservations about the announcement of the naira redesign, adding that it would contribute to the high inflation level in the country.

On her part, Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south, said the timeframe was too short for Nigerians to transfer the cash at their disposal to the commercial banks.

According to her, caution should be taken not to shut down the economy given the timeframe for the implementation of the policy.

Betty Apiafi, senator representing Rivers west, asked if the naira redesign policy would further improve the economy, calling for further clarification from the CBN on its effect on the economy.

In his submission, Bassey Akpan, senator representing Akwa Ibom northeast, emphasised the need to support the CBN governor.

Akpan added that there should be no discussion on the matter.

Suswan and Akpan’s submissions did not go down well with those seeking an extension to the deadline, which led to a rowdy session at plenary.

However, Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president, who presided over the senate session, restored normalcy after persistent appeals.

The senate, after the debate, resolved to provide legislative support for the CBN on the policy.

The upper chamber also mandated the senate committee on banking and financial institutions to go on oversight to ensure that Nigerians were adequately protected from the CBN, banks and other agencies involved in the process.

 

The Cable