Emefiele: Reps move to bar CBN chiefs from politics

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
CBN Governor, Godwin EmefieleMatthew

The process of barring politicians and those with political links from holding executive posts at the Central Bank of Nigeria has started in the House of Representatives.

According to The PUNCH, currently employed senior officials of the apex bank will also be prohibited from politics.

Criticisms had trailed the affiliation of the current Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, with the ruling All Progressives Congress where he aspired to run for president.

Addressing this, the bill is being proposed in the CBN (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which is seeking to amend the CBN Act 2007, which passed the second reading at the plenary on Tuesday.

The legislation is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Amend Section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Act 2007 to Add More Conditions for Disqualification and Cessation of Appointment as Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank; and for Related Matters.’

The sponsor of the bill, Sada Soli (APC, Katsina), while leading the debate on the legislation, noted that the CBN Act 2007 is the legal instrument that establishes the CBN and the office of the CBN governor.

He also noted that by virtue of Sections 7 and 8 of the Act, the CBN is answerable to the President, the National Assembly and the apex bank’s Board of Directors.

The lawmaker further noted that Section 11 of the CBN Act 2007 provides the conditions under which the Governor of the CBN shall cease to act in that capacity.

He said, “According to Section 11(2)(a)-(f), there is no mention as related to the political parties or partisan politics of the governor of the CBN or its directors. Therefore, we need to add to the principal Act by inserting a new Section 11(2)(f) to read thus: ‘is a member of a political party or involved in partisan politics.’

“These changes will enable any person who is interested in partisan politics to cease as the Governor of the Central Bank and this will give more honour to the position of the CBN governor, deputy governor and director.”

Soli stated in part, “This amendment is no prejudice to anybody but because the Act was tested and it was found weak. Therefore, we need to strengthen the Central Bank of Nigeria as the lender of last resort, the Bank of Federal Republic of Nigeria, to restore its credibility from the shock it has suffered in the course of interpreting the law, basically because of the absence of what I’m trying to amend.”

“Why am I doing this? Because there was a time the CBN governor (Emefiele) went to court seeking an interpretation whether he can participate in partisan politics. We need to address that. Today, the credibility of CBN in custody of sensitive election material is being questioned. It is not against any individual but to save the integrity of CBN.”

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