On Tuesday in Abuja, the Senate gave the bill that would limit the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s authority its second reading. The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar, who represents the Kwara North Senatorial District.
The lawmaker proposed amending the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act No. 7 to remove the governor’s authority to appoint anyone to the apex bank’s staff.
In the main debate, the legislator suggested that the new Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank should have the authority to decide on members’ salaries and benefits, since the Governor primarily oversees the day-to-day operations of the Apex Bank.
Senator Suleiman further argued that the board would be responsible for the annual budget of the bankers’ bank, which he said is the global standard.
“A bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act No. 7 of 2007 to enable the appointment of a person other than the Governor as the Chairmen of the board, divest the Board of the powers of determining and fixing salaries and allowances of its members.
“And considering and approving the annual budget of the Bank; and for other related matters, 2022.”
Reacting in her contribution to the proposed bill, Senator Betty Apiafi from Rivers called for a holistic amendment of the CBN Act, saying that the CBN governor went out of his way to contest for the presidency while in office in the 2022 presidential primary election.
She maintained that this would not happen anywhere in the world, given that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) materials were expected to be kept in the bank.
She said the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, having attempted to contest the presidency, has made Nigerians lose confidence in the bank storing the INEC materials.
The submission of Senator Apiaf echoed Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia, who spoke earlier.
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, however, cautioned Senators to focus on the proposed amendment rather than dabbling into the alleged attempt by the CBN governor to contest as that wasn’t part of the general principles of the bill.
The bill, after being put up to vote on whether to be withdrawn or passed into second reading, scaled through.