Senate reveals date to debate CBN ‘s cash withdrawal limit policy 

The Senate Tuesday agreed to debate the N100, 000 per week Cash Withdrawal Limit introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in plenary on Wednesday.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated this during plenary following a point of order by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC Ekiti North ), who drew the attention of his colleagues to the absence of the Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Insurance, And Other Financial Institutions, Senator Uba Sani, from the chamber. 

Adetunmbi, who is also a member of the Committee, said the panel Chairman was billed to present the report of the screening exercise conducted for the two CBN Deputy Governor-nominees, Mrs Aishah Ndanusa Ahmad, and Mr. Edward Lametek Adamu.

Both Ahmad and Adamu, were recently reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari who requested the Senate’s screening and confirmation for their second and final tenure at the apex bank.

Ahmad, who is the CBN Deputy Governor on Financial System Stability had explained details of the policy to the panel during the screening last week Friday when she and her colleague, appeared for screening.

Details of the explanation given by the CBN Chief was to be presented for debate alongside the screening exercise at the Tuesday plenary.

However, Adetunmbi said the debate could not take place again because the Panel Chairman, who is the All Progressives Congress Governorship candidate for Kaduna State, was in his state for the party’s presidential campaign rally. 

He said: “Exactly a week ago the senate resolved that the committee on banking and financial institutions should come forth today to report on the enquiries that it was mandated to make of the new policy of the Central Bank on the withdrawal limit. 

“The committee was specifically mandated to interrogate these issues based on the concern that was  expressed in the chamber, with the two deputy Governors that were coming for clearance. 

“This took place on Friday  last week. Two candidates came for clearance and the issues were thoroughly looked into especially in the opening remarks of the chairman. 

“He specifically reported that the senate  made the two deputy governors to elaborate on the issue the rational behind this policy in view of the massive public reaction to that policy.  

“The deputy governors gave elaborate explanation and the committee also requested for further evidence in terms of documented reports that were that will enable the committee to fully understand the issues behind this policy during the plenary appropriately. 

“Unfortunately the report is not ready today because the chairman of the committee is busy on political assignment in Kaduna but will be in the Chamber tomorrow to present the formal report of the committee”, he said .

But despite Adetunmbi’s explanation,   Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa ( PDP Bauchi North) , said the Senate should forge ahead with debate on the policy as Nigerians are waiting for the Senate’s position .

“We should not allow this thing to be swept under the carpet, it is a very serious issue and Nigerians are waiting to see what the Senate will do like the House of Representatives.

“The House of Representatives have asked the Governor of the Central Bank to stay action on this, leaving it till tomorrow is giving him another excuse and I urge this Senate to discuss this thing today.”

He was however ruled out of order by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who insisted that the matter would be debated today (Wednesday).

“I don’t think it is fair to say we are sweeping the matter under the carpet. To sweep something under the carpet in my understanding means to avoid it.  

“Nobody here suggest by action or inaction that we are avoiding discussion on this matter. 

“I think it is appropriate to give the Chairman of the Committee opportunity to come and present his report personally and Senator Adetumbi is a member of the Banking Committee.

“The Vice of the Committee who is the Chief Whip is here and they are all in attendance. 

“They have something to tell us. The Chairman want to present the report himself and when he does that, we will be better informed and we can take appropriate action.  

“If we are going to debate it, let’s do that on the basis of information because that is when we can argue it and say no, stop it because of superior argument.  So, let’s not doubt our sincerity here,” he said.