The Senate on Wednesday passed for second reading a bill seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007.
The lawmakers gave the approval to the bill for second reading following the presentation and consideration of the bill at plenary on Wednesday.
However, before the bill which was read for second reading it received contributions from lawmakers based on recent narratives surrounding the CBN activities.
The bill titled; ‘A Bill to Amend The Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 and Other Matters connected there with was sponsored by Sen. Dalington Nwaokocha(LP- Abia)
Nwaokocha while leading the debate said the bill was read for the first time Oct 10.
He said the bill seeks to amend Sections 6(1), (2), 8(1) (2) (3) (4) (5), 12 (1) (2) (3), 13 (1)(2) (3) (4) and paragraph 8 of the first schedule to the Act to strengthen the bank.
According to him, the amendment seeks to make provision for appointment of a chairman of the board, provide for responsibility to quicken and deepen execution of the bank’s mandate.
He said the bill seeks to address all anomalies that has hindered the advancement of the apex bank to handle the issues in the economy.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, the thrust of this amendment is to create a people-centered central bank by delivery price and financial system stability and promoting sustainable economic development.
“As the nation grapples with economic issues, we need to reposition the CBN to grow the economy, regulate the exchange rate and unauthorized financial transactions and dollarizing the economy.
“This bill seeks to provide for among other things – Separate the head of management from the head of the governing voard in line with national and international good corporate governance practices.”
He said the bill seeks to establish a proper governance architecture for the monetary authority for optimal policy and operational effectiveness.
Nwaokocha said the amendment sought, would ensure real-time controls and effective accountability in the conduct of central banking in Nigeria.
He said the bill , when passed would reposition the CBN towards pursuit and advancement of its core mandates given the bank’s pivotal role in the economy.
“The bill would position the CBN as an apolitical entity that would become a worthy example in national and international monetary policy, banking sector regulation, currency management, and supervision.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, Specific ways of achieving the above objectives contained in the amendments being sought is to
“Establish the position of the Chairman of the Board of the CBN with cognate qualifications and experience suitable for achieving the renewed objectives of the bank
” Establish an effective and efficient board for the CBN with enhanced independence and neutrality for comprehensive policy and operational board oversight.”
He said the bill further seeks to provide for an additional position of a Deputy Governor to achieve due balance in geo-political representation of all zones.
The Abia lawmaker said the bill when passed would guarantee internal and parliamentary oversight besides credible accountability to the Nigerian people .
According to him, it will clearly emphasise the ubiquity of financial reporting and corporate governance as key responsibilities of the board and management of the CBN.
“Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, this bill will ensure that the banking system is repositioned to play its primary role of financial intermediation for the benefit of investments and economic growth in Nigeria,”he said.
The bill was referred to the committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Matters for further legislative input.
Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocation to LGC without elected officials
The Senate has urged the Federal Government to henceforth withhold statutory allocation to the Local Governments Councils(LGC) without democratically elected leaders
In the last three months of August, September and October the Local Governments received N702.647b out of N1.006 shared for the three tiers of government in the period under review.
The legality or otherwise of the Federal Governmemt’s power to enforce the Senate’s recommendation is left for legal experts to analyse
The Senate’s recommendation came after debate on the Urgent Need to halt the erosion of democracy: the dissolution of elected Councils in Benue State sponsored by Sen. Moro, Abba Patrick (Benne South)
The senate condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected Local Government Councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria
It also resolved to urge the Federal Government to review the Benue State governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.
The upper legislative chamber urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While leading the debate Senator Moro he was dismayed by the dissolution of Democratically Elected Councils in Benue State,
According to him, replacing the elected chairmen with Caretaker Committees to is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)
Quoting Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) he said it guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils.
He insisted that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local
Government Councils by law.
He indicated that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils
He therefore challenged the Governor/Government of Benue State to first appeale the outstanding judgments which has not been done adding that it is against the grain of the rule of law
Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) pointed out thatabout 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He urged the Senate to direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGS without elected council officials.
Oshiomhole’s suggestion was supported by Senator Ali Ndume.
The senator representing Oyo North, Abdulfatai Buhari indicated that the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections.
The President of the senate Godswill Akpabio also frowned at the establishment of multiple federal agencies but advocated the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls
Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.
The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development.
The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.
“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.
“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.
“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.
“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.
“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”
Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic
***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger
The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings
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