14 March 2018, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Senate has decided to conduct the confirmation processes for President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and for members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, raises a point of order at the plenary on Tuesday to urge the lawmakers to lift their embargo on confirmation of appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ibrahim said the non-confirmation of the deputy governors of the CBN and members of the MPC was negatively affecting the economy, especially foreign investments.
The lawmakers unanimously granted the prayer.
The sudden u-turn by the Senate is due to a need to allow the apex bank effectively play its role in developing the national economy.
It therefore made a concession for the nominees, from its resolution not to confirm nominees not specifically listed in the 1999 constititon, as a fallout of the Senate, Executive impasse on the non confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
This action by the Upper Chamber is coming a week after the Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the Nigerian Senate to confirm the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as the Bank’s deputy governors and non-executive directors who were nominated for the positions by President Muhammadu Buhari since last year.
Owing to a stand-off between the executive and Senate over the retention of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, despite his rejection twice by the Senate, the upper legislative chamber has vowed not to confirm several nominees of the president until Magu is removed from office.
The impasse has rendered it impossible for the CBN to form a quorum of the MPC whose past members had retired at various times last year, and compelled the central bank to postpone the first meeting of the committee last January.
Furthermore, the IMF recommended continued strengthening of the monetary policy framework and its transparency, with a number of the directors urging consideration of a higher Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), a symmetric application of reserve requirements, and “no direct central bank financing of the economy”.
The IMF report noted that, “A few directors urged confirmation of the appointments of the central bank’s board of directors and members of the Monetary Policy Committee.
“Directors commended the recent forex measures and recent efforts to strengthen external buffers to mitigate risks from capital flow reversals.
“They welcomed the authorities’ commitment to unify the exchange rate and urged additional actions to remove the remaining restrictions and multiple exchange rate practices.
“Directors stressed that rising banking sector risks should be contained. They welcomed the central bank’s commitment to help increase capital buffers by stopping dividend payments by weak banks.
“They called for an asset quality review to identify any potential capital needs. They noted that enhanced risk‑based banking supervision, strict enforcement of prudential requirements, and a revamped resolution framework would help contain risks.”