Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Nigeria's central bank; Leo
Ogor, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, MP of the
main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP); Mojeed Alabi,
MP of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
What, Where & When
In a House of Representatives session illustrative of
Nigeria's current fraught economic environment, MPs yesterday
(5 Oct) debated the tenure of central bank governor Godwin
Emefiele. Opinion was divided and the legislators cannot themselves
dismiss Emefiele. However, they are in a position to apply pressure
on policy makers.
The governor has faced growing criticism this year for the
central bank's monetary and forex policies.
The central bank floated the naira in June after 16 months of
pegging to defend the currency, but this failed to improve the
forex liquidity in the country and the naira has continued to fall
especially on the parallel market.
When the peg was removed in June, the naira was NGN197 per
dollar on the interbank market. By the start of October, it was
NGN315 per dollar and nearly NGN500 per dollar on the parallel
During the session, PDP MP for Balanga/Billiri Ali Isa
questioned the central bank's policies and was backed by APC MP
Mojeed Alabi, who claimed Emefiele had been invited a number of
times to defend the bank's leadership but ignored the summons.
Alabi said, "Over the falling of the naira, the CBN governor
and his team should be sacked." House Minority Leader Leo Ogor
tried to persuade his colleagues to be patient with the central
bank in the interest of peace and stability.
No consensus was reached on the issue in the end, but Speaker
Dogara directed a committee to be set up to investigate the forex
Nigerian law1 says the president can sack the central
bank governor provided the removal is backed by a two-third vote of
the Senate. As such, the House of Representatives, the lower
chamber, lacks the power to directly influence Emefiele's
President Buhari has shown no sign he's lost faith in
Emefiele. We also believe the Buhari government appreciates the
instability it would cause to the investment climate if the central
bank governor is dismissed at this time.
Barring any extreme development, Emefiele will probably serve
out his tenure, which ends in February 2019.
1 Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007
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