The Senate Tuesday passed for second reading, a Bill meant to whittle down the powers of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The proposed legislation was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar, who is representing Kwara North Senatorial District at the National Assembly.
The senator, in his lead debate, sought an amendment to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Act No. 7 to remove the powers of the governor from determining the appointment of anyone into the services of the apex bank.
Umar proposed that the new Chairman of Board of the Central Bank should have powers to determine salaries and allowances of members, while the governor focuses strictly on administrative duties in the running of the bank.
The senator further argued that the board should be responsible for the annual budget of the bankers’ bank which he said is the global standard.
He said: “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.
“Considering and approving the annual budget of the bank; and for other related matters, 2022.”
In her contribution, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Betty Apiafi, advocated a wholistic amendment of the CBN Act.
She recalled that the CBN Governor went out of his way to contest for 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 are expected to be kept in the bank.
She said: “The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, having attempted to contest presidency has made Nigerians to lose confidence in the bank storing the INEC materials.”
The submission of Apiafi was the same thing with that of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia South who spoke before her.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, however, urged the 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.
After the Senate President put the approval of the bill to vote, passed the second reading.