Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu has slammed the Finance Minster, Zainab Ahmed over her statement that the apex bank did not carry her along before introducing the new naira notes.
Newsonline reports that the political economist also blamed the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele for compromising the autonomy of the apex bank in determining issues of the economy., contrary to the CBN ACT 2007.
Professor Moghalu advised the CBN to ensure that citizens who do not save their money in the banks for good reasons are considered in the implementation of the new naira notes policy to avoid affects on their legitimate earnings.
Moghalu said, “Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed’s comment to the National Assembly that she was not aware of the Naira redesign by Central Bank should not mislead anyone into thinking the CBN owes her that kind of information.”
He added, “The Bank only needs the approval of President Buhari for this particular exercise.
It received that approval,” Moghalu explained that “there are only three issues on which, in the CBN Act of 2007, the Bank should obtain external authorization, and only from the President of Nigeria, for its operations: 1. Any alterations to the legal tender (the Naira); 2. any investment of the Bank’s funds outside Nigeria; 3. the Bank’s annual report.
Outside of these, he said, “the only approving authorities for CBN operations are its Committee of Governors (note the “s”) consisting of the Governor and the four Deputy Governors, and the Board of Directors of the CBN, which includes the Governor, the four Deputy Governors, and 7 external members which include the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant-General of the Federation.”
The former CBN Deputy governor further blamed Emefiele for politicizing the apex bank, which he said was responsible for the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed demanding to be carried along.
“My criticism of the current Governor of the Bank in the past is that he has politicized the central bank by routinely subjecting its operations to the whims and caprices of the Presidency far beyond what is the appropriate relationship, and compromised the independence of the CBN as a result. That is why the Finance Minister erroneously feels entitled to be informed or consulted.” Moghalu said.
He further advised “the CBN should now focus hard on the implementation of this policy. It will impose huge pressures on the banking system.”
“How can the woman frying akara (bean cake) in the rural areas, who keeps most of her cash under her pillow, be aided to come into the banking system under this new policy? There are others as well whose money is outside the banking system for reasons that are not negative,” he advised.