Former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has urged the National Assembly to tread with caution in its bid to review the CBN Act 2007 (as amended).
In a statement posted on his social media platform, X, on Tuesday, Moghalu said he supports explicitly the banning of the CBN governor and deputy governors from involvement in partisan politics, even as the present law has implicitly stated.
According to the former CBN deputy governor: “Two bills sponsored by Senators @nassnigeria to review the CBN Act 2007 (as amended) should be handled carefully. While I support explicitly banning the Governor and DepGovs of @cenbank from involvement in partisan politics (although the present law implicitly already does so, prohibiting their engagement in any “employment or vocation” outside their central banking duties), the proposal to have the Board of Directors chaired by an external director rather than the CBN Governor as is the case at present is a BAAAD idea. If approved, this would weaken the statutory independence of the central bank.
“The best global practice, for the good reason of insulating the Bank from external influence, is that the Governor chairs the Board of Directors. “Given the extreme level of partisan politicisation of institutions in Nigeria that ought to be independent but have become mere extensions of whatever political party is in power, such a provision will open the door to the CBN falling victim formally to this malady.
“The NASS and President Buhari condoned the excesses of the previous Governor Godwin Emefiele and indeed encouraged such illegalities (e.g., N23 trillion Ways and Means lending to the fiscal authorities by the monetary authority; and the previous Governor attempting to vie for the Office of the President under a severe hallucination that he could move directly from the CBN into Aso Rock without resigning his office), apparently for self-serving reasons. That aberration is no reason to destroy the institution itself by eroding its independence.
“Individuals that abuse the laws and ethics should pay an individual price for their actions. May Emefiele’s remorseless destruction of the professionalism of the CBN by pawning it to cabals and politicians—and the attendant destructive effect on our economy—not repeat itself in Nigerian history.
“The solution is for our political leaders to honestly look out for the national interest rather than self-interest in making such a sensitive appointment. This will not be achieved by administering poison as medication to an ailing patient. There was a similar attempt in 2012 while I was in the institution as DepGov with Lamido Sanusi as Gov. We resisted it robustly. The current team headed by @YemiCardoso should.”