Shehu Sani, a senator (Kaduna-APC), has appealed to his colleagues to partially lift a senate ban on consideration of executive appointments.
The partial lifting is necessary to confirm the appointment of members of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) board members, he said while raising a point of order on Wednesday.
Mr Buhari in April 2017 requested the confirmation of the appointment of 5 Non-Executive Directors of the Board of CBN.
The senate, however, failed to confirm the appointment due to a unanimous decision the lawmakers took in 2016.
The Senate had placed an embargo on the confirmation of appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari following the retention of Ibrahim Magu as the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) despite rejection of his appointment by the lawmakers.
Mr Sani appealed to his colleagues to lift this embargo in consideration of the pivotal role the bank is playing in the economy.
“I stand here to make a passionate appeal to the conscience and support of this senate over the issue of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Nigeria’s Central Bank is the only central bank in the whole of Africa without a board and when you don’t have a board you limit the ability and capacity of the management of that institution that has a pivotal role to play in our economy to manage affairs of banks and also to function properly.
“The CBN is the most important economic fulcrum of our economy. I can recall that we collectively took a position in suspending the screening of nominees but I appeal that we look at the issue of CBN critically in the very sense that we can appreciate the fact that they have made some progress in terms of stabilizing the economy, the Naira and the appreciation of our foreign reserve.”
In March, the senate confirmed appointment of two Deputy Governors of the bank and three members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
The confirmation of the five followed a similar appeal by Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara-APC) urging members of the Senate to confirm the nominees.
The senate two weeks after, confirmed the appointment of the five.
Mr Sani said taking similar step for the board members will ensure more transparency in the sector.
He added that the senate had made its ‘point’ in enforcing the embargo over time and now is the time to hold the executive accountable.
“We should be very mindful that our work as a senate would be lessened if we have a board that can perform an institutional oversight that shows that the bank is run according to due process and best standards. The CBN should be screened in the interest of transparency so we can truly know what is going on within the bank and that the management of the bank can function.
“The absence of the board has made it impossible to function and to also do its duty as other banks do within the continent. I appeal that the senate should look into the need to screen and approve the board of this bank in the interest of our economy so that we can have a proper documentation and knowledge of what is going on within the bank. Our point has been made and it is now the time to hold the executive to account with a board which we can work together with.”
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