The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution summoning Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to appear before the lawmakers and brief them on the status of the Naira.
In the resolution which followed a two-prayer motion by Nazif Suleiman (APC Bauchi North), the senate also charged the Federal Government to step up efforts at diversifying the economy.
The president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, urged the government to focus on other revenue sources like taxes, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, and solid minerals.
Mr. Saraki, who commended the mover of the motion, said the senate, and indeed all Nigerians, must contribute in the defence of the Naira against all other currencies.
“The naira is being subjected to speculations and the only way to defend it is to know that government policy makers are firm in the defence of the naira.
“It will not be easy because speculators are relentless, but if we give all the support and stay on course, our naira will indeed stabilise.
“Nobody would have believed that we could stop the importation of cement; I think we can do that for rice, palm oil, wheat, and other products that we can produce in Nigeria,” he said.
Mr. Saraki said that although some policies may seem to be adversely affecting Nigerians, all citizens should exercise patience, noting that good economic policies would be beneficial.
In his remarks, the sponsor of the motion, Mr. Suleiman, expressed worry over Naira depreciation in the last few months, especially due to activities of speculators.
He said that illicit money flow and laundering in the country had contributed to the problems and called for a review of CBN’s foreign exchange processes.
Other senators who contributed said that the nation’s over dependence on importation rather than manufacturing was a major factor for the depreciation of the Naira to the dollar.
According to Usman Nafada (APC Gombe North), depreciation of the Naira is due to pressure arising from expenditure on imported products.
He said that the amount of dollars stashed away by some people in their houses and farms also increased the pressure on the naira.
Olaka Nwogu (PDP Rivers South-East) said “our dependence on only one source of revenue whose value has dropped by half is part of the problem.
“My suggestion therefore is that we need more industries so that people can get employed.”
Mr. Nwogu accused 90 per cent of those in the senate as contributors to the problems and therefore urged them to begin the industrial revolution with their constituency projects.
He sought a legal framework that would compel the establishment of at least one industry in each senatorial zone.
“We cannot keep consuming in this hard times,” she said.
In his contribution, Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) urged the APC-led Federal Government to put its house in order and appoint economy managers.
He also said that state governments should focus more on establishing industries to create jobs rather than awarding contracts with monies meant for salaries.