The Senate has begun moves to whittle down the powers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, by proposing the appointment of a Chairman of its Governing Board other than the governor in particular. The proposal to so do was contained in a Bill seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2018, which passed second reading on the floor yesterday.
The amendment bill also seeks to compel the CBN to submit its annual budget to the National Assembly in the course of the annual Appropriation Bill or subsequent thereto for transparency and accountability in the operations of the bank. Sponsor of the bill, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (Imo East, PDP), urged 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.
In his remarks, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said CBN “is tasked with the duty to subject their budget to the Ministry of Finance before approval.” He referred the Bill to the committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to report back in four weeks. The bill was, however, passed for second reading after being subject to a voice vote.