CBN’s autonomy is necessary globally – Experts

Stakeholders in the Nigerian finance sector have raised concerns over the ongoing  proposed amendments to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act, saying apex bank autonomy is necessary globally.

Some proposed amendments to the Act include subjecting the CBN’s budget to the National Assembly approval and establishing a new coordinating committee for monetary and fiscal policies.

The senate on Tuesday suspended a scheduled public hearing on the proposed bills seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) Acts ahead of a hearing slated for Thursday, April 30.

On November 10, 2023, the house of representatives, passed for second reading, a bill to amend the CBN Act of 2004.

On February 27, the bill to amend the CBN Act passed a second reading in the senate, while on February 29, the bill for an Act to amend the NDIC Act passed a second reading.

The bill was sponsored by Francis Waive, a lawmaker representing Ughelli north, south, and Udu federal constituency of Delta state.

Reacting to the proposed amendments, President of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), professor Pius Olanrewaju said the amendment will undermine CBN’s autonomy.

Warning that the proposed amendments run the risk of handing control of the CBN to parliament, Prof. Olanrewaju said the shortcomings of the former CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele do not justify revoking the apex bank’s autonomy.

On his part, Muda Yusuf, chief executive officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), stressed the need to be cautious about subjecting the CBN’s budget to national assembly approval.