Reps Summon Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi Over Naira Depreciation

naira and dollar

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, were Wednesday summoned by the House of Representatives, over the depreciation of the naira.

In a resolution passed yesterday, the House mandated the Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency, and National Planning and Economic Development to invite the duo and obtain explanations on the measures being taken to curb the free fall of the currency against the United States dollar and other foreign currencies.

The House decision followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Odebunmi Olusegun Dokun on the “need to check the continuous devaluation (depreciation) of the local currency over the years.”

In his motion, Dokun went down memory lane to when the Naira was introduced as the country’s legal tender in 1973, stating that the naira at inception was more valuable than the US dollar and a little less than the British pound sterling.

He observed however, that with the depreciation of the naira, the nation’s economy was exposed to serious danger.

“There has been a continuous decrease in the Naira value over the years against major currencies in the world.

“A critical look at these last few years, taking the US dollar as a basis for comparison shows that around 1990 to 1993, it was about N28 to a dollar; around 1994 to 1996, it was about N40 to a dollar; around 1996 to 1999, it was about N80 to a dollar; around 1999 to 2007, it was about N140 to a dollar; and around 2007 to date, it is about N158 to a dollar.

“This has shown that a continuous devaluation in the naira without any improvement, and if this downward trend persists, it will affect Nigeria’s economy and the future of the nation in general,” he said.

The motion was passed without debate and the issue passed on to the relevant committees to handle and report back to the House in six weeks.