Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Kingsley Moghalu, has said that the CBN does not need to consult the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed to redesign the naira notes.
Moghalu stated this on Saturday morning in reaction to a statement by Ahmed that the ministry was not informed beforehand of the plan by the CBN.
Moghalu tweeted, “Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed’s comment to @nassnigeria that she was not aware of the Naira redesign by @cenbank should not mislead anyone into thinking the CBN owes her that kind of information. The Bank only needs the approval of President @MBuhari for this particular exercise.
‘It received that approval. 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, 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.”
Moghalu said his criticism of the current CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, 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.”
Moghalu, a former presidential candidate, said this is why the finance minister erroneously feels entitled to be informed or consulted. The banker-turned politician had earlier backed the move by the apex bank to redesign some naira notes.
Meanwhile, the CBN has also responded to the minister’s statement, noting that it got President Buhari’s approval in writing and does not need to consult anyone else in line with the CBN Act.