Indications have emerged that the National Assembly would restrain the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from going ahead with the implementation of the policy on naira redesign and restrictions on cash transactions.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila dropped the hint while delivering the lecture titled: “Delivering On Our Contract With Nigerians: Implementing The Legislative Agenda Of The 9th House Of Representatives – Progress, Challenges And The Way Forward”.

The Speaker accused the Mr Godwin Emefiele-led CBN of taking unilateral decisions on the policy without the input of the National Assembly.

The speaker expressed the fear that the policy could worsen the prevailing economic situation in the country.

He noted: “Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced a policy to redesign the Nigerian Naira and impose restrictions on cash transactions across the economy.” The National Assembly has been inundated with petitions from citizens worried about the impact of the new policies on their businesses and concerned that the policy approach will not deliver its stated policy objectives.

“Many have pointed to the fact that in India where a similar policy was implemented beginning in 2016, the expected benefits haven’t materialised, yet there has been a pronounced contraction in the economy probably linked to the policy.

“Now, whatever the concerns about the policy may be, it should not be the normal course of things for such a profoundly impactful policy program to be designed, approved, and announced without any engagement with the legislature, or any attempt to seek the perspectives of the people’s representatives.

“Keep in mind, these are the very same people who will have to explain and answer for these policies in communities across the country. While each arm of government has its prerogatives and guards them jealously, our country cannot afford actions that set the stage for the competing objectives of different arms of government to descend into governance dysfunction and paralysing conflict.”

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