Will Nigeria dedollarize to join the BRICS?

Fri 16 Feb 2024 ▪ 3 min of reading ▪ by Nicolas T.
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Nigeria wants to join the BRICS, but will it have the courage to dedollarize to achieve it?


Nigeria wants to join the BRICS

The African giant wanted to join BRICS in 2023, but its request was rejected at the 15th summit in Johannesburg.

Instead, Ethiopia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Saudi Arabia joined the bloc. Twenty countries, including Nigeria and Indonesia, had applied to become members, and twenty others expressed their interest.

It was a humiliation for Nigeria to see Ethiopia – whose economy is much smaller – receive the entry pass in its place. Especially since the country has recently faced a civil war in the Tigray region.

However, Ethiopia is the only country in Africa to have never been colonized. The Horn of Africa has always defied the West. And while the United States is pushing for it to privatize its banks, threatening to exclude it from the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act), Addis Ababa has stood firm.

This political independence is a sine qua non for joining the club. It’s necessary to show good faith by working on local currency payments and connecting to payment networks alternative to SWIFT.

In other words, becoming a member of the BRICS requires significantly reducing dependence on the dollar. For example, Russia has eliminated the dollar from 95% of its transactions with India and China.

Moscow, which will preside over the BRICS in 2024, has already reaffirmed the dedollarization ambitions of the group. All countries present at the Johannesburg summit have been invited to report on this at the next summit to be held in Russia.

Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana understands this well. This Tuesday, he urged the Nigerian government to stop selling oil in dollars on Channels TV.

“The first step to strengthening the Naira is to ensure that foreign countries pay for Nigerian oil in our currency, not in US dollars,” he said. “There are countries in the world that insist today we should no longer be tied to the US dollar. These countries are members of the BRICS.”

For Femi Falana, Nigeria must stop pricing its oil in dollars if it wants to join the BRICS. “If it were up to me, my policy would be radical: I would sell Nigerian gas and crude oil in naira. Let those who want to buy our products buy naira.”

Iraq is another country wishing to join the BRICS. Iraqi parliamentarians are increasingly vocal about dedollarizing their oil sales. And why not sell it in bitcoin?…

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Nicolas T. avatar
Nicolas T.

Bitcoin, geopolitical, economic and energy journalist.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.