The Senate yesterday confirmed the nominations of Mr. Godwin Emefiele and Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, and President of the Federal Court of Appeal, respectively.
The confirmation of both nominees was carried out by the upper chamber following their screening in a committee of the whole, an exercise which lasted three hours yesterday.
Responding to questions thrown by Senators during the screening exercise, Emefiele, the nominee for confirmation as CBN governor, assured that his administration would work tirelessly towards the realisation of the core mandate of the apex bank.
The nominee, who is the Managing Director of Zenith Bank, said that focus would be on reducing inflation rate in the country, building a strong foreign reserve and exchange rate.
He said: “I am aware that the core mandate of the central bank of Nigeria is to achieve the monetary and price stability. Another core mandate of the CBN is to ensure that we have a strong and build strong foreign reserve. We are also expected to ensure that we have a strong financial system in Nigeria.
“On the back of this mandate we would work very hard to ensure that we achieve macro-economic stability in this country where inflation rate shall be seen to continue to come down. Where interest rate shall be seen to continue to come down.
“And where we would as much as possible continue to maintain a strong exchange rate for the country and build a strong foreign reserve.”
Justice Bulkachuwa, who since November last year was the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, said that the judiciary had made a series of plea for the review of its yearly allocations, so as to address its dwindling fortunes.
She said: “On the funding of the judiciary, this is a very serious issue with us. We are the biggest court in the country. We have 90 justices as at now. We have 16 divisions of the Court of Appeal. But our budget this year is N10.1billion. The justices have their salaries, allowances which should be charged on the consolidated revenue fund. So if you take that out of the N10.1billion what are you left with?
“I don’t allocate the budget I am just confined to what we have and we have been trying to manage as much as we can. But we had to cry out. That is why we cried out last year and we are still crying out.”
The Senate President, Senator David Mark, speaking on the confirmation of both nominees, said, “These are two very key appointments and the amount of time we spent on it is a clear indication of the importance that we attach to these confirmations.
“The two people involved are very distinguished Nigerians and our prayers would go with them that Justice Bulkachuwa would deliver Justice on time and Emefiele would ensure that he does the prescribed responsibilities of the governor of the Central Bank without fear or favour.”