The Senate has confirmed the appointments of Mrs. Aishah Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu as deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It also approved nomination of three of the four members of the Monetary Policy Committee.
The confirmed MPC members are Prof. Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi and Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa. Dr. Asheikh A. Maidugu was, however, rejected.
The confirmation followed the adoption of the reports of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, which screened the nominees on Monday.
In the report on the MPC nominees presented by Chairman of the committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the panel said Maidugu was considered not qualified to occupy the position for which he was nominated.
“The nominee was interviewed by the committee and he responded to the questions asked by the members, but the committee was dissatisfied with his response to the independence required for each member of the MPC and concerned that a regular civil servant burdened with bureaucracy and red-tape may not be independent in his judgment on each crucial decision of the MPC that affects directly the whole economy,” the report stated.
In his remarks on the nominees, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said, “At this point, let me congratulate the two nominees, particularly Mr. Edward Lamatek Adamu, whose uplifting to a deputy governor will be a great encouragement to the staff of the CBN, who will see one of their own in this position. I am sure it will boost the morale within the institution.
“Let me also commend and congratulate Mrs. Aishah Ahmad for her nomination to this very competitive role. The two new deputy governors of the CBN are coming at a time when the economy is a major issue. We have just come out of a recession and we need to continue with our economic growth and see the sustainability of the foreign exchange and other related challenges.
“We hope that the two new deputy governors will work with the governor to move the country and our economy in the right direction. We hope also, that you all will continue to work closely with the National Assembly to update us on the progress that is achieved by the CBN.”
The Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, however, urged Buhari to nominate a replacement for the rejected nominee.
He also urged the lawmakers to consider the President’s request for confirmation of CBN’s governing board nominees.
Buhari had in March 2017 sought the Senate’s approval for the appointment 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) to the board of the CBN.
Lawan said, “I will advise the Senate that we expedite action to consider the governing board where we expect two more members of the MPC to emerge from. This will make complete the MPC as an individual institution under the CBN.
“I will also take this opportunity to advise the President to present another nominee in the place of Dr. Maidugu, who has been rejected.”
Saraki, however, stated that the issue of the CBN board would be discussed when there were more lawmakers in the chamber.
He said, “Your point is noted. The executive should, because of the urgency of the matter, expedite action and bring a replacement for the MPC member that we rejected.
“On the issue of the board, as you rightly observed, may be when we can do it when we have fuller participation. We can do that based on the valid point you made as far as ensuring that the MPC is fully constituted. It is a matter we will discuss when we come next week, making sure that the MPC is fully constituted.”
The Presidency had last week urged the Senate to lift the embargo placed on executive appointments made by Buhari, particularly members of the CBN board.