The Senate on Wednesday considered a request by President Muhammadu Buhari for legislative confirmation of five nominees as members of the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The President wrote to the Senate to confirm the appointments over one year ago.
Buhari had, in March 2017, sought Senate’s approval for the appointments of Prof. Ummu Ahmed Jalingo (North-East), Prof. Justitia Odinakachukwu Nnabuko (South-East), Prof. Mike Obadan (South-South), Dr. Abdu Abubakar (North-West) and Adeola Adetunji (South-West) as CBN board members.
Considering the request on Wednesday, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, referred the request to the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, which will screen the nominees and mandated it to report back in two weeks.
Lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, had, at the plenary on May 9, 2018, raised a point of order to urge the Senate to lift the embargo on executive appointments and confirm the Buhari nominees for the board of the CBN.
The Senate had placed an embargo on consideration and confirmation of appointments not listed in Section 171 of the Constitution.
This was to protest against the retention of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission despite the rejection of his appointment by the lawmakers.
Sani urged the Senate to be mindful of the fact that the work of the legislature would be lessened if there was a board that could perform an institutional oversight over the apex bank.
In his remarks on the prayer, Saraki had said, “We have taken note of your comments and we will look into it.”
Earlier in March, Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, had pleaded with the Senate to lift the embargo on those Buhari appointed as CBN deputy governors and members of the Monetary Policy Committee.
He had warned that the non-existence of the MPC was threatening the country’s economy, forcing the Senate to consider the President’s request for legislative approval.
The Presidency had on March 19, 2018, when the nominees were screened, urged the Senate to further lift the embargo placed on executive appointments made by Buhari, particularly for the CBN board members.
The Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, expressed the plea when the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions screened
Enang had said, “Let me on behalf of the executive express the sincere gratitude of the executive to the Senate for lifting what appears to be an injunction and considering this matter at this time. I want to really appreciate that.
“Again, I know that with the magnanimity of the Senate, you will extend this goodwill to other nominees, in particular those of the board members because some board members are also members of the Monetary Policy Committee.”
The Senate had later on March 22, 2018, confirmed Mrs. Aishah Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu as CBN deputy governors; and three of the four MPC members Prof. Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi, Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa.