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Falana Drags CBN to Court Over Floating of Naira

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By Elizabeth Okwe

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been dragged to court over the floating of Naira currency.

Human rights lawyer Falana disclosed this while speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Friday.

Recall that the apex bank reportedly told Deposit Money Banks to freely float the naira against the dollar and other international currencies in June.

The policy was announced at a time when the naira traded between 730 and 755 to the dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

But, Falana described the decision of the CBN to float the naira as ‘illegal’ and being challenged in court.

He said, “There’s no provision for floating the naira. It’s illegal. You say, ‘The value of the naira will be determined by market forces.’ That is not there in the law,” he said.

“I’ve had to sue the Central Bank of Nigeria at the Federal High Court because Section 16 of the Central Bank Act has imposed a duty on the Central Bank to fix and determine the rate of the naira vis-a-vis other currency,” he added.

As of Friday, the CBN puts the exchange rate between N744 and N746.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN said the CBN Act made it compulsory for the apex bank to fix the exchange rate.

He noted that Section 20(1) of the CBN Act provides that the only legal tender in Nigeria shall be the currency notes issued by the Central Bank: “only the naira.”

Section 20 (5) of the Act also provides that anybody who spends any other currency in Nigeria without the approval of the central bank has committed an offence “and shall be prosecuted”, he explained, adding, “The penalty is six months’ imprisonment.”

Falana argued further that as long as government officials are not prepared to strengthen the naira and make it the only legal tender in Nigeria, “we’re not going to go far”.

On the Federal Government’s approval of N5 billion for each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to procure food items for distribution to the poor in their respective states, Falana said the measures were diversionary.

He said, “They are temporary measures. Some of them are quite diversionary and the people in government have not addressed the root of the crisis, which is the dollarisation of the economy,” he said.

“Whatever palliatives that are announced will be eaten up by dollarisation of the economy,” he added.

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Economy

FG Received N318.5bn Revenue in Q1 – Accountant General

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The Federal Government got a total revenue inflow of N318.5bn in the first quarter of 2024, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, disclosed on Wednesday in Abuja.

Madein stated this while briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, on the revenue performance of the various agencies of government in the first quarter of 2024.

Represented by the Director, Revenue and Investment in the Office of the Accountant General, Felix Ogundaro, AGF noted that the 2024 fiscal year would be exceptional in terms of revenue generation, owing to the policies of the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

She said, “Reconciliation is still being done but the total revenue inflows to the Federal Government for January to March amounts to N318.5bn as against a total budget of 2.691 tn.

“For the budget, the bottom-up cash planning policy is on course and the 2024 budget is going to be implemented via that policy. Officers have been retained and sensitization is ongoing to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies are well equipped on the modalities and conditionalities.”

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Finance Incorporated, Armstrong Takang, who also briefed the lawmakers, disclosed that some agencies under MOFI had declared dividends of N101bn.

Takang said “So far, we have received dividends declared by some companies. But for many others, their reports are either being prepared and have not been completed or have been completed but they have not gone to their boards for approval and subsequently the Annual General Meeting. As such, we cannot use the number of their dividends until that has been done based on the corporate governance rules.

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Economy

FINANCE MINISTER VISITS PTAD, STRESSES NEED FOR DIGITISATION, ENHANCED PENSION MANAGEMENT

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By Sule Musa

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr Wale Edun on Wednesday  visited the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) Headquarters in  Abuja during which he reaffirmed the Federal Government’s unwavering dedication to improving pension management and enhancing the welfare of pensioners.

Edun who was received by PTAD’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ejikeme, and the management team,  engaged in discussions focused on the vital backend computation projects aimed at improving the efficiency and transparency of pension administration.

The Minister commended PTAD staff for their dedication in pension administration, recognizing their indispensable role and reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to pensioners’ welfare even amid essential economic reforms.

He assured of ongoing Ministry of Finance support for the recent pension increment, aligning with the provisions of section 173:3 of the 1999 constitution which,  according to him, marks a historic initiative in Nigerian pension management with deliberate and timely increments as well as commitment to the timely payment of pension arrears and entitlements.

A statement by the Ministry’s Director of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Manga quotes the Minister as saying that visit underscores the Ministry’s strategy to enhance fiscal management and promote socioeconomic stability through improved governance of public funds and the adoption of digitisation.

“This visit highlights our resolve to ensure that the systems managing our pension funds are not only robust and efficient but also aligned with our broader economic goals of transparency and accountability,” he added.

The Executive Secretary of the organisation,  on behalf of the management and staff,  expressed appreciation for the visit, reaffirming their commitment to maintaining high service standards for pensioners and aligning with the government’s emphasis on enhancing public financial management.

According to the statement, the Minister’s  engagement is integral to the Ministry’s continuous drive to bolster economic resilience and enhance the contribution of all governance sectors to Nigeria’s growth and development.

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Economy

CBN Suspends Charges on Cash Deposits Until September 30, 2024

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*   As Apex Bank Releases List of          Licensed Banks in Nigeria

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