By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, made U-turn on its earlier position not to screen nominees for Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Board.
The upper chamber said it agreed to consider and confirm the nominees for the position of deputy governors as members of Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, to guard against a total collapse of the economy.
According to the Senate, the move to have a change of heart is to enable Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the CBN continue to direct the affairs of the apex bank and for it to meet this month.Senate
Prior to taking the decision, the Senators had gone into an executive session where the issue was said to have been discussed to save the country from any embarrassment and for the overall interest of the people.
The Senate noted that the MPC was made up of 12 members, comprising seven from the private sector and five inside the CBN.
It also noted that currently, only three of them were valid, since the tenure of others expired last December.
The upper chamber stressed that lack of composition, however, led to the MPC meeting not being held January 22 and 23, with the next meeting fixed for March 19 and 20.
The resolution of the Senate was sequel to a point of order by Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South), who pleaded that the non-composition of the board was affecting the economy, stressing that the board could not meet for lack of quorum.
In his remarks, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who presided, said: “Let me acknowledge and thank my colleagues for the statesmanship role you continue to play. This has been a chamber that has always been for the issue of the economy, and for us to do all it takes to continue to ensure we see investments, ease of doing business and give confidence. ‘’Inasmuch as we continue to defend the institutions and the constitution, it is time we looked at the priorities and understand what is important.”
Also contributing, Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu, said: “A wise man is a man who has to change his mind if he has to. It is important we reconsider our stand in respect of our earlier decision on confirmation. Let us make an exception on the issue of MPC. We should make this exception so that our economy does not collapse.”
It will be recalled that the Senate, in October, received the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Ahmad as a Deputy Governor of the CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari equally nominated members of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN.
The nominees, who are to replace four members whose tenure expired at the end of last year, include Professor Adeola Festus Adenikinju; Dr Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi; Dr Robert Chikwendu Asogwa and Dr Asheikh A. Maidugu.
A statement by the Presidency on October 5 indicated that the nomination was “In accordance with the provisions of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.”