The Senate on Thursday confirmed the appointments of Mrs. Aishah Ahmad and Mr. Edward Adamu as Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. It also approved the nomination of three of the four members of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC.
While Prof. Adeola Festus Adenikinju, Dr. Aliyu Rafindadi Sanusi and Dr. Robert Chikwendu Asogwa were confirmed as MPC members, the nomination of Dr. Asheikh A. Maidugu was turned down by the upper legislative chamber.
The confirmation followed the adoption of the reports by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, which screened the nominees on Monday.
The upper legislative chamber had initially refused to confirm the nominees, stalling the apex bank’s monetary policy committee meeting for January and March. The senators acted in line with their resolve not to confirm nominations forwarded to it by the President until Ibrahim Magu is sacked as the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
But two weeks ago, the Senate hinted that the nominees would be screened. The resolution was sequel to a deliberation of a point of order raised by Rafiu Ibrahim (APC, Kwara South) urging members of the upper chamber to confirm the nominees for the sake of the nation’s economy.
Following this shift in ground, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that the first MPC meeting of 2018 had been fixed for April 3.
While presenting his committee’s report on the MPC nominees, by Chairman of the Senate committee, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim 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 Iadden with bureaucracy and red-tapism may not be independent in his judgment on each crucial decision of the MPC that affect directly the whole economy,” read a portion of the report.
In his remarks on the nominees, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said, “At this point, let me congratulate the two nominees, particularly Mr. Edward Lamatek Adamu whose upliftment 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 (Dr. Godwin Emefiele) 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.”
On his part, the Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, called on President Buhari to nominate a replacement for the rejected nominee. He also urged the lawmakers to also consider the President’s request for confirmation of CBN’s governing board nominees.