The Nigerian House of Representatives says it may reconvene before the February 25th general elections if the hardships caused by the naira swap policy remain.
This was disclosed by the House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila during a Townhall meeting in Lagos on Sunday.
He also disclosed that the House has the power to summon any Nigerian and also issue an arrest, which includes the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The Speaker of the House of Reps noted that the House would continue to monitor the CBN’s implementation of the policy closely following the Green Chamber’s meeting with the CBN Governor on the issues.
Arrest warrant: Gbajabiamila noted that the CBN Governor, Emefiele, only showed up to address the lawmakers after the threat of an arrest warrant was issued, a move he says was constitutional, he said:
- “The House of reps intervened on several occasions, we summoned the CBN Governor the first time and again but he refused to answer because we had many hard questions for him
- ” It was until I issued the threat of warrant of arrest before he came, and I would have signed that warrant, it would have been the first time in the history of the National Assembly that a CBN Governor would be arrested, I would have done it.”
Not above the law: He added that the CBN Governor is not above the law as the House has the right to issue a warrant to any citizen.
- “Many have argued on the independence of CBN, the autonomy of CBN. That does not make CBN above the law.
- “The Constitution gives the House the power to issue an arrest warrant against anyone, we can summon anybody, and that was exactly what the House would do until the CBN Governor came.”
Reconvene: He added that the House of Reps would reconvene if the need arises, citing that many cannot withdraw their salaries to eat.
- ” We are watching, we are monitoring very closely, if need be, we will reconvene the House, even though we have been away for our elections I will call the House back if need be”
- “Many are suffering, we have paid salaries, and you cannot withdraw, people cannot eat, what kind of this is that?”
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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, restated that the apex bank is not considering extending the deadline for the swapping of the old naira notes with the newly redesigned naira notes.
Emefiele said that the CBN acknowledges the pains Nigerians are facing in accessing the new naira notes and are working on closing the gaps observed in the circulation process.
According to the CBN governor, the apex bank will extend cash swaps to microfinance banks and engage 30,000 super agents in the hinterlands as part of new measures to accelerate the circulation of new naira notes.