The Senate on Tuesday in Abuja moved to make the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) just an administrative head without powers to appoint directors or determine salaries and allowances of members of the apex bank’s governing board.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Sadiq Umar which scaled through second reading in the upper chamber, also proposed that the CBN board should be responsible for annual budgets, noting that the practice is global standard.
Seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Act No. 7, the legislation also proposed that besides setting annual budgets, the new board chairman of the CBN will equally determine salaries and allowances of members.
The motion read, ‘A bill for an Act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (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.’
In her contribution, Senator Betty Apiafi from Rivers called for a holistic amendment of the CBN Act, saying that the CBN governor went out of his way to contest for presidency while in office in the 2022 presidential primary election.
She stressed that 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.
According to her, the CBN governor has made more Nigerians skeptical and lost confidence in the capacity of the apex bank to store sensitive INEC materials, hence the need to reduce the powers of holders of the office.