February 21 2018
A bill to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sponsored by Senator Samuel Anyanwu representing Imo East Senatorial district scaled second reading in the Senate.
The bill, if passed into law would mandate the Apex bank to subject its annual appropriation to the approval of the National Assembly.
It also proposed to create a different board of the Central Bank against the current situation where the CBN governor doubles as the board Chairman.
Sponsor of the bill, Anyanwu argued that separation of the office of the Chairman of board would pace way for effective running of the Apex financial body. He also added that there was need for separation of powers.
"A bill for an act to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), 2004 and for related matters, 2018."
While clauses dealing with "subjecting CBN's budget was sustained", the separation of the "office of the Chairman of board', attracted ferocious debates.
Chief Whip of the Senate, Shola Adeyeye explained that the Apex bank was too strategic to be exposed to partisan politics, maintained that the CBN governor who doubles as Chairman of its board was a normal practice across the world.
According to him, he has researched into over 8 countries and discovered, there was no difference with the current position, insisting that the status quo be maintained.
"Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, CBN is completely different from other Parastatals of government and I have found out other Central Bank of over eigjt nations. There is nothing different as to the position of government the Chairman of Board."
"We should leave the CBN to be run by experts and professionals as it is right now", he said.
Senator Adamu Aliero representing Kebbi Central Senatorial district was of the same reasoning that the governor should remain the Chairman as a result of professional point of view, adding that the office was not for politicians.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, however, ruled for second reading, referred to Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Financial Institutions to revert to Senate in two weeks.