Leadership (Abuja)

15 February 2013

Nigeria: Reps Direct CBN to Ban Dollar Denominated Local Transactions

Worried by the rising practice of using dollars for local transactions in Nigeria, the House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban the use of foreign currencies in domestic business transactions in Nigeria.

The lawmakers took decision this while adopting the resolutions of a motion raised by Hon Nadu Karibo (PDP, Bayelsa State).

Leading debate on the motion, Karibo pointed out that every country has its currency which serves as a means of exchange, a symbol of identity, a source of pride and a sign of independence and economic stability.

He noted that despite the fact that the naira is the only currency recognised by law as the means of exchange for domestic transactions in Nigeria, some individuals and corporate bodies carry out their transactions in foreign currencies.

The legislator expressed regret as what he described as "a growing trend" in the use of foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar, for payments of school fees, hotel bills, real estate, rent and purchase in bars, night clubs, and luxury good shops in Nigeria.

He further expressed worry that the ugly trend had led to the high demand of those foreign currencies, especially the US Dollars in Nigeria.

In his contribution to the debate, Hon. Warman Ogoriba said, "I was in South Africa where I wanted to pay my hotel bills in Dollars and it was rejected. They asked me to change to their local currency. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised because here Nigerians freely use the Dollar".

Hon Ali Madaki, however, spoke against the motion, arguing that if Nigeria was willing to attract foreign investors into the country, foreign currency, especially the dollar,

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