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Senate rejects bill seeking use of gold to boost external reserves

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Nigeria’s Senate has thrown out a bill seeking to use gold to shore up the nation’s reserves in defence of the economy.

The bill titled “ Foreign Exchange (Control and Monitoring) Bill, 2024 (SB. 353)” sponsored by Senator Sani Musa, was rejected after debates by lawmakers who opposed it.

Musa, APC Niger East, had stated that the bill was read for the first time on Tuesday, February 20, 2024.

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According to him, the bill sought to repeal the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Act, Cap. F34, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and establish a Foreign Exchange Market in Nigeria, to make provisions for the control, monitoring, and supervision of transactions conducted in the Foreign Exchange Market.

The Niger lawmaker stated that the objective of the bill sought to “ To establish a foreign exchange market.

“To provide for the regulation, monitoring, and supervision of the transactions conducted in the market and for related matters.

“To contribute to the sound development of the National Economy by striving to facilitate foreign transactions and to maintain an equilibrium of balance of International payments.”

He added that the bill would also move to stabilise the value of the currency by ensuring the liberalisation of foreign exchange transactions; – To maintain an equilibrium of the balance of International payments, and – To stabilize the value of the currency by ensuring the liberalisation of foreign exchange transactions and other foreign transactions by revitalising market functionality.“

Musa said that the bill attempts to expand Section (1) of the existing Act to incorporate three new provisions to make for clarity and to empower the Central Bank of Nigeria to administer, control, and manage all dealings and transactions concerning foreign exchange matters.

Musa said, “The newly introduced clauses will enable the CBN to determine the basic exchange rate of purchase and sale of foreign exchange.

“Clause 6 of the Bill introduces New Sub-clauses (2), (4) and (5) which require authorised dealers to: Render returns to the CBN on sources of foreign exchange over $10,000 and utilisation of same, and obtain prior approval of the CBN when seeking to import foreign currency notes.

“Part Ill of the Bill makes elaborate provisions for the grant of a license to carry on business dealings in foreign exchange. In this part, provisions were made for refusal of license, suspension or revocation of license, review and appeal, etc.

“Clause 18 (1) (a) and (b) were added to expand the scope of dealers in the market and where funds are purchased from the Bank. The market rate may be subject to rules and regulations prescribed by the Bank. “

He submitted, “The operation of domiciliary account shall be as prescribed by the bank and the powers of the CBN have been widened to prescribe how foreign exchange may be accepted for the payment for goods and services in Nigeria.

“Mr President the future of any nation is a function of her ability as a nation to manage its economy efficiently and optimally. Intrinsically linked to the wellness of a country’s economy is the state of its Foreign Exchange Market usually regulated by a foreign exchange regime.”

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