Bill To Amend CBN Act Passes Second Reading At Senate
A bill to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) passed through second reading at the Senate on Wednesday. The bill, meant to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) Act CAP C4 LFN 2004, was sponsored by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East).
The Senate seeks to compel the CBN to submit its annual budget to the National Assembly in the course of the annual Appropriation Bill for transparency and accountability in the operations of the bank, According to Sen Anyanwu, some of the key issues in the Bill, is that it seeks to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2018 to appoint a person other than the governor as the chairman of the board.
Supporting the bill, Senators Dino Melaye and Kabiru Marafa want the Senate to exercise its full powers by subjecting the apex bank to scrutiny, expressing concerns as to why the activities of the CBN can’t be subjected to public scrutiny.
The senators also expressed concern that the CBN governor will be exercising too much power as the chairman of the board, hence the need to relieve him of the chairmanship power.
They also added that transparency could not be guaranteed if the CBN governor reviewed his salaries and allowances without the consent of appropriate authority.
But in his own view, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), said the CBN should maintain the status quo on the grounds that the CBN of any country is a pivotal institution.
He said by separating the power of appointing a board chairman from the office of the governor, the president may appoint one of his cronies who may lack knowledge of the nation’s financial system.
In his remarks, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided in the the absence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, referred the Bill to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to report back in four weeks.
He said the CBN is tasked with the duty to subject its budget to the Ministry of Finance before approval.
But the bill passed for second reading through members vote.