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‘It’ll undermine autonomy’ — CIBN, CPPE fault proposal to amend CBN Act

‘It’ll undermine autonomy’ — CIBN, CPPE fault proposal to amend CBN Act
May 29
13:39 2024

The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) have raised concerns over proposed amendments to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act.

On November 10, 2023, the house of representatives, passed for second reading, a bill to amend the CBN Act of 2004.

The bill was sponsored by Francis Waive, a lawmaker representing Ughelli north, south, and Udu federal constituency of Delta state.

On February 27, the bill to amend the CBN Act passed a second reading in the senate. 

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Some proposed amendments to the act include subjecting the CBN’s budget to national assembly approval and establishing a new coordinating committee for monetary and fiscal policies.

In separate interviews, Pius Olanrewaju, CIBN president, and Muda Yusuf, chief executive officer of CPPE, said the amendment will undermine CBN’s autonomy.

Speaking on the proposed bill, Olanrewaju said the erstwhile CBN governor’s shortcomings do not justify revoking the apex bank’s autonomy.

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Godwin Emefiele, former CBN governor and his co-defendant, Henry Omoile, are facing trial on a 26-count charge before a Lagos high court over “abuse of office”.

Olanrewaju said the central bank autonomy is necessary globally, “though some checks and balances are needed”.

He warned that the proposed amendments run the risk of handing control of the CBN to parliament. 

“We are going for overkill. The four proposed amendments are unnecessary at this point,” he said.

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On his part, Muda Yusuf, chief executive officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), stressed the need to be cautious about subjecting the CBN’s budget to national assembly approval.

“We must be careful not to undermine the CBN’s autonomy. If compromised, it would affect its effectiveness,” he said.

Yusuf said the emphasis should be on appointing competent professionals with strong character to oversee the CBN rather than parliamentary oversight of its budget.

The public hearing on the amendments, initially slated for May 30, has been suspended by the senate committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions.

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Tinuke Ogunrinde, the clerk of the committee, said the public hearing was postponed due to conflicting schedules and a clash of national events to mark the first year anniversary of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

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