#Editorial

As EFCC Battles Dollarisation of The Economy

THE main task of the government of a sovereign nation is the protection of the territorial integrity, peoples and resources therein. In other words, it implies that government must protect the hard earned sovereignty and ensure that the nation and her peoples are no longer subject to the control of external forces nor do they owe their loyalty, service and dedication to another country to the detriment of theirs.

        UNFORTUNATELY, as we have earlier warned in previous editorials, the dollarisation of the nation’s economy had subtly eroded the nation’s sovereignty, weakened her currency and made Nigerians willing slaves in foreign nations. Thus, allegiance to dollars led to the nurture of the unpatriotic among Nigerians, as commerce is transacted locally in foreign currencies. Sadly, the nation, whose politicians relish in conducting money politics in foreign currencies had also forgotten that ‘a leader’s sin, is a leading sin’, hence the nationals trample on the nation’s Naira, and make a deity of the Dollar.

THUS, we at The Hope, count it good that the EFCC deemed it necessary to raise a Special Task Force against Dollarisation of Economy and Mutilation of  Currency in all its Zonal Commands  for the enforcement of section 46 of the EFCC Act which criminalises any form of fraud, money laundering, embezzlement, bribery, tax evasion, foreign exchange malpractices, looting and any form of corrupt malpractices,  with the aim of protecting the economy  from abuses, leakages and distortions, which had earlier exposed it to both economic and political instability as well as disruption. With the invitations of Entrepreneurs who charge fees in dollars, and arrests of those who issue invoices in dollars, as well as the successful prosecution of Naira mutilators, the agency has contributed immensely to the reduction of the crazy hike in exchange rates, and destabilisation of the economy.

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HOWEVER, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should also work in synergy by enforcing the CBN Act 2007 which recognizes only the currency issued by the CBN, which is the Naira, as the legal tender in the country. Thus, aside the EFCC, other security apparatus in the country must ensure the prosecution of those who engage in the use of foreign currencies for local transactions. In this vein, we implore the CBN to monitor commercial banks and prevent illegal dollar commercialism and hoarding. Nigerians must also cooperate with the various levels and agencies of government in respecting the Naira as well as shunning the lure to transact local businesses in foreign currencies

THE Hope observes keenly that Nigerians’ penchant for foreign goods, lack of import substitution industries, epileptic power supply, moribund refineries anddollarisation of remunerations are vital agents of the high volatility of foreign exchange in Nigeria. Given the fluid and global demand of the American Dollar as opposed to other foreign currencies, the EFCC clampdown may just be an effective flash in the pan mechanism.

THIS is because, while international monetary economics demands that America would protect the value of her currency with stringent policies against its excess supply, the simple law of Economics dictate that a higher demand for a low outflow of needed commodities, would promote hike in prices. The focus and contribution of the Federal Government should be the reduction in the demand for the Dollar by Nigerians. In this line of thought, we suggest that Government must intervene and provide enabling environment for the access and utilisation of local products for commerce and industries; injection of capital in the petroleum and power sectors of the economy for adequate local production; and payment of all transactions conducted on the Nigeria soil, in Naira.

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FURTHERMORE, since the effect of the tyranny of European currencies affect the entire sub-Saharan Africa, who ironically are the suppliers of the developed world’s labour and natural resources, it is high time the Africa Union, developed, produced, unveiled and began to use a regional currency. This would reduce the demand for the dollar as the most acceptable means of exchange in the Africa sub-region; promote smoother regional trade, protect indigenous currencies, boost trade transactions and also strengthen both regional and national currencies. Such a currency would also promote unity, fraternity and relationship among Africans.

THE creation of such continental and acceptable currency would increase Africa(n)s bargaining powers in the international market, thereby reducing the demand for Dollars at all levels of transactions. The creation and acceptance of the continental currency would also put to rest the demand for a sub-region currency, reduce the production costs of local currency, promote access to funding from the Africa Development Bank, strengthen the Central Banks of African nations, enhance cashless international transfers and also drastically reduce, if not eliminate, the dollarisation of local and national economies.

THUS while encouraging Nigerians to support the Federal Government, and in effect, the EFCC in the quest for a strong Naira against foreign currencies, it is time for Africa to heed the call of unity, and develop a currency that would foster economic relations and thus boost the values of national currencies.

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As EFCC Battles Dollarisation of The Economy

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