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Buhari NASS

Experts hail Senate moves to confirm CBN, MPC nominees, save monetary policy

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The green light flashed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday plenary suggesting readiness to overshadow trending differences it has with the Executives and screen nominees of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members, has started to elicit reactions from stakeholders.

A number of investment analysts and development economists who spoke to Business Hilights on the development, hailed the leadership intelligence of the upper chambers in understanding that key investment decisions by prospective foreign investors are largely dependent on the status of several indices momentarily determined by the MPC.

According to John Chukwu, the chief executive of Cowry Investment Group, even though the delay may cause some shocks in decision making by key investors in the long run, the move to confirm the nominees as soon as possible will correct some wrong impression on the understanding of the lawmakers’ on monetary issues.

He however, called for faster confirmation so that the new members of the MPC should have better grooming before the next meeting.

Another development economist who pleaded anonymity averred that “The Nigerian Senate has shown that it truly feels the pulse of the nation”.

“If the confirmation is made within few days that will give the new MPC members time to study the terrain so that their decision during the next meeting which is very crucial will be informed and credible.

The Senate had put on hold, the confirmation of the nominees following disagreement with the executive over a number of issues including the continued stay in office by the embattled chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Senate had for two times rejected the confirmation of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu on grounds of an incriminating report by the Directorate of State Security (DSS), but the Presidency had ignored the rejection.

But in consideration of the enormous importance of the MPC meetings on the economy, the upper chamber made U-turn, resolving to go ahead with the screening and confirmation. Accordingly, the upper chamber had mandated its committee on Banking, Insurance & Other Financial Institutions headed by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim (APC Kwara South) to commence the legislative process for their confirmation in the interest of economic development of the country. The deal started from when Senator Ibrahim at plenary, stressed the need for their confirmation when he spoke under Point of Order 42 and 52 which is based on matter of urgent national importance of the Senate Standing Rule. He appealed to his colleagues to give exception to the confirmation of nominees into the committee since it has to do with the economy, explaining that the action became necessary so as to save the nation’s monetary system and the economy at large from major setback as the next meeting of the MPC holds on March 19 and 20, 2018.

He averred that “I rise on the issue pertaining to a very significant aspect of the country’s economy. I know from inception of the 8th Senate that the Senate is pro-economy, pro-foreign direct investment, pro-foreign controlling investment.

“We are all aware that in January, based on the resolution of this Senate, that all confirmation according to all Acts of the National Assembly pending with us should be suspended forthwith, we suspended the confirmation of the nominees.

“I rise to ask that the Senate do consider the possibility of us taking the very important aspect of the economy which is the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). “The MPC is made up of 12 members; about seven from the private sector and five inside the Central Bank. “As of today, only three of them are valid. Almost all other members, their tenure expired by December last year and that culminated into the MPC meeting not being held in January 22nd and 23rd and the next meeting is March 19 and 20”, the Kwara South Senator noted.

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