‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – A bill to whittle down powers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, on Tuesday, scaled second reading in the Senate.
The bill was sponsored by the lawmaker representing Kwara North Senatorial District, Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar.
The lawmaker sought for amendment to the CBN Act No. 7, for the power of the Governor to be divested of appointment of anyone into the services of the apex bank.
In the lead debate, Umar proposed that the new Chairman of Board of the CBN will have powers to determine salaries and allowances of members, as the Governor focuses strictly on administrative duties in the running of the Apex Bank.
Senator Umar added 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″, the lawmaker said.
Commenting on the bill, Senator Betty Apiafi from Rivers State, called for a wholistic amendment of the CBN Act, adding that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, went out of his way to contest for presidency while still in office during the presidential primary election.
Apiafi said 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 Emefiele having attempted to contest the 2023 presidential election, has made Nigerians to lose confidence in the bank to store INEC materials.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, however, cautioned senators to focus on the proposed amendment, rather than dabbling into the alleged attempt by the CBN Governor to contest for the presidency, saying that was not part of the general principles of the bill.
The bill, however, scaled second reading after Lawan put it to vote either to be withdrawn or pass into second reading.