Nigeria Moves to Ban Central Bank Officials from Politics

Nigeria's National Assembly seeks to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 to bar top officials from partisan politics for three years after leaving office. The proposed amendment aims to maintain the bank's independence and neutrality, promoting public trust and financial stability.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Nigeria Moves to Ban Central Bank Officials from Politics

Nigeria Moves to Ban Central Bank Officials from Politics

Nigeria's National Assembly is seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 to prohibit top officials of the apex bank from engaging in partisan politics for three years after leaving office. The proposed amendment, championed by former lawmaker Darlington Nwokocha, aims to bar the Chairman, Governor, and Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from participating in political activities or becoming members of any political party for three years after service.

Why this matters: This amendment seeks to maintain the independence and neutrality of the Central Bank of Nigeria, ensuring that its decisions are guided by economic considerations rather than political interests. By doing so, it can help to promote public trust in the institution and stabilize the country's financial system.

The move comes in the wake of controversy surrounding former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele's entry into politics ahead of the 2023 presidential election. Emefiele's involvement in the political arena generated tension, particularly following the introduction of the naira redesign policy at the end of former President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.

The amended Section 8 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill 2023 states: "The Chairman, Governor and Deputy Governors shall not engage in or be a member of any political party until three (3) years after disengaging from office." The bill also proposes a five-year term for the CBN's top executives, with the possibility of reappointment for an additional term not exceeding five years.

Under the proposed amendment, the CBN Governor will be required to submit bi-annual reports to Parliament, covering the bank's monetary policy efforts, activities, objectives, and future economic development prospects. A new Board of Directors will also be established, comprising a Chairman and other experts, to ensure robust supervision and inject new expertise into the bank's operations.

The amendment bill seeks to promote accountability mechanisms within the CBN and ensure robust oversight of the bank's activities. By prohibiting top officials from engaging in partisan politics for three years after leaving office, the National Assembly aims to safeguard the independence and neutrality of the apex bank and prevent situations that could undermine public trust in the institution.

Key Takeaways

  • Nigeria's National Assembly seeks to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 to bar top officials from politics for 3 years after leaving office.
  • The amendment aims to maintain the independence and neutrality of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • The move follows controversy surrounding former CBN governor Godwin Emefiele's entry into politics.
  • The amended bill proposes a 5-year term for CBN top executives and bi-annual reports to Parliament.
  • The goal is to promote accountability, oversight, and public trust in the Central Bank of Nigeria.