ABUJA – The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed into second reading a Bill seeking to amend section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, 2007 to bar the Governor, Deputy Governors or Directors of the Apex bank from partisan politics.
The proposed legislation tilted, “Bill for an Act to Amend Section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Act 2007 to add more Conditions for disqualification and Cessation of Appointment as Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank; and for Related Matters (HB. 2023),” was sponsored by Hon. Sada Soli (Katsina,APC) at plenary.
The proposed amendment may not be unconnected with the failed presidential ambition of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Leading the debate on its general principles, the Bill’s sponsor, Soli noted that provisions of Section 11 of the principal Act states that: “a person shall not remain a governor, deputy governor or director of the bank if he is a member of any federal or state legislative house; director, officer or employee of any bank and other financial institutions.”
He said the Bill seeks to add more provisions to the Principal Act, for disqualification of the governor, deputy governors or directors of apex bank who take part in partisan politics.
According to him, the amendment seeks to insert a new subsection (f) to read that the bank’s chief shall cease to hold office if he or she, is a member of a political party or involve in partisan politics.
Soli however said, the bill is intended to restore its credibility from the shock it had suffered in the cause of interpreting the existing law, and not against any individual.
He said, “The governor, deputy governor and director shall cease to hold office in the bank if he is (a) incapable of carrying out his duties, (b) convicted of any criminal offense, (c) guilty of any serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this act, (d) disqualified from practicing his profession in Nigeria, (e) becomes bankrupt. Then (e) in the act becomes (g) to add in the principal act by inserting a section 11 (f) “if he’s a member of a political party or a partisan, or involved in partisan politics.
“This amendment is no prejudice to anybody but because the Act was tested and it was found weak, and therefore we need to strengthen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as the lender of last resort, the bank of federal republic of Nigeria to restore its credibility from the shock it has suffered in the cause of interpreting the law, basically because of the absence of what I am trying to amend.
“Why I am I doing this? Because there was a time CBN Governor went to court seeking for an interpretation whether he can participate in partisan politics. We need to address that. Today the credibility of CBN in custody of sensitive election material is being questioned. It’s not against any individual but to save the integrity of CBN.”