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Falana urges Nigerians to transact business with Chinese in naira

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Monday, August 28th, 2023
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Human rights activist, Femi Falana, has called on Nigerian business owners to transact business with China in naira as a currency exchange agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and China was established in 2018.

He emphasised that the agreement, valued at RMB 16 billion sought to enhance local currency liquidity for both Nigerian and Chinese industrialists and businesses, thereby mitigating the challenges of sourcing United States dollars.

Falana made this known in a statement on Monday.

“About five years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria and China entered into a currency exchange agreement. The transaction, which was valued at RMB 16 billion or N720 billion was aimed at providing adequate local currency liquidity to Nigerian and Chinese industrialists and other businesses, thereby, reducing difficulties encountered in the search for the United States Dollar. The swap was also designed to improve the speed, convenience, and volume of transactions between the two countries,” part of the statement read.

However, according to Falana, “the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which superintend the Central Bank of Nigeria, have colluded with the Central Bank of Nigeria to frustrate the currency swap.” According to him, the purpose “of the economic sabotage is to promote the dominance of the US dollar in Nigeria. Hence, the federal government, state governments, and the business community have been prevented from transacting business in Naira and Yuan.”

Falana also revealed that using the Freedom of Information Act, he recently sent an inquiry to the Central Bank of Nigeria to verify the current status of the currency swap agreement between Nigeria and China.

He noted that despite confirmation that the agreement remains valid, the CBN still restricts Nigerians from engaging in transactions in China using naira.

“I was recently compelled to exercise my right under the Freedom of Information Act by requesting the Central Bank to furnish me with information on the status of the currency swap agreement between Nigeria and China.

“In its reply to my letter, the Central Bank confirmed that the currency swap agreement will not be due for renewal until 2024. In spite of the confirmation of the currency swap, the Central Bank has not allowed Nigerians to transact business in China by paying Naira. However, since the currency swap is valid and subsisting, I call on the Nigerian business community to insist on transacting business in Naira, including payment for goods imported from China.”

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