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Thursday, 22 February 2024 06:23

Scrap Dollar Use In Nigeria To Rescue Economy — Nwoko Urges Tinubu

Senator Ned Nwoko has urged the administration of President Bola Tinubu to immediately abolish the use of the American dollar and all other foreign currencies in Nigeria, as a means of tackling the current economic hardship faced by Nigerians.

The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, who gave the charge while speaking with THISDAY, on the state of the nation, warned that until the naira was made the only legal tender in Nigeria, nothing much would be achieved from the country’s monetary policy.

While lamenting that Nigeria gained independence over 60 years ago and remain dependent economically on the West, Nwoko, also called for the return of Nigeria’s foreign reserve to the country; to be kept by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and disbursed to manufacturers to boost production.

“We keep talking about monetary policy, nothing is going to work until we stop using the dollar”, he said while pointing out that the biggest problem confronting Nigeria was the use of the dollar and other foreign currencies within the country.

“The president have to stand up and lead, he should not worry about the US and UK”, he said, “we should strive towards economic independence” to move the country forward and meet the aspiration of the people.

The legislator argued that when the use of foreign currencies was prohibited and payments for crude oil are done in naira, there would be demand for naira and its value would appreciate.

He described as an anomaly and insulting for Nigeria to keep her money in a foreign bank which in turn was being used for the development of that country and not in the interest of Nigeria.

Nwoko stated that if what the country have as foreign reserved was brought back to Nigeria, it would help resuscitate many dead and ailing industries as the central bank can then borrow to them at a very low rate of between three and four per cent.

“We just had a meeting with some European Union parliamentarians, I asked the one from Greece if they use the dollar, he said no, I also asked the one from Italy he said no. I asked them if they have foreign reserve, none of them have foreign reserve.

“So why should we?, he queried.

Other measures he urged President Bola Tinubu to deploy include the pegging of interest rate so as to make funds available for local businesses and the prohibition of medical tourism which puts another strain on the nation.

On the worsening insecurity in the country, Nwoko, who dismissed the capacity of the police to protect citizens called for the amendment of the firearm law, which he is currently pushing at the Senate.

He said part of the economic hardship was due to the fact that people could no longer go to the farm again because of the activities of herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers.

“Farmers in Delta State are not able to farm because their crops are being destroyed every day…..why can’t our people be armed to defend themselves as it is done in some other countries”.

He dismissed claims that Nigerians would kill themselves if allowed to carry arms, arguing that, “we are matured not to use knives against one another, then why are we not matured to use guns.”

He suggested a system where a citizen would be licenced to carry arms from his place of origin.

“The certificate would be done by traditional rulers through chiefs who have knowledge of the respective families in their domain. These rulers know family with criminal records as well as mental issues”, he said, adding that the kings would be held responsible if anything goes wrong.

In addition, he said before a licence would be issued, a person’s state of mind would also be assessed by two medical doctors and lastly that the Commissioner of Police and Director of Department of State Service DSS give their approval.

The Senator also called for the permission of local vigilantes to carry sophisticated arms if they must be able to tackle crimes in their communities.

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