Some elder statesmen and finance professionals in Nigeria today critiqued the proposed Central Bank of Nigeria’s amendment Act (2007) and advised that caution be employed in the process of the revision.
Various speakers at the public policy forum organised by the Business Hallmark, aptly tagged “How autonomous should the CBN be?” affirmed the common belief in the operational autonomy of the CBN, the need to keep the institutional legacy of the CBN as being above political interference, and the need to sustain global best practice in the role central banks play. They equally were agreed that the issues related to corporate governance, transparency and accountability remain relevant but represented differently on how this should be approached and executed.
The reckoned that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to be brought under some form of checks and balances, whilst retaining the fundamental role with the autonomy uncompromised.
Former Finance Minister, Chief Anthony Ani on his part had this to say - “The CBN, as presently constituted cannot cope with the regulatory and supervisory role of the finance industry.” He opined that the National Assembly has a secondary task to undertake before arriving at a decision. In addressing this gap, he suggested that the NASS recommends the splitting of the supervisory function of the CBN.
Economist, Prof. Herbert Wilson in his address also offered some suggestions when he said that “The CBN must adapt to changes in the political environment because it cannot prevent it.” Prof Wilson explains that the CBN’s leadership, in what he terms ‘meddling in socio-political issues’ needs to be cautioned. The former managing director of Citizens Bank, Mazi Okechukwu Uregbor says that the CBN must set its objectives right, while the institution gets redefined.
Publisher, Business Hallmark Newspaper, Prince Emeka Obasi is however persuading the National Assembly in broadening their scope of the debate on the CBN Amendment Act (2007) with a redefinition of the regulatory role of the bank in the economy.