“Do not tamper with CBN autonomy,” This was contained in a message issued out yesterday to the National Assembly by the CBN boss, Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and former Information Minister, Frank Nweke (Jr).
Speaking at the 2012 Annual Public Lecture organised by the law firm of J-K Gadzama & Partners LLP, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, said if politicians are allowed agile control of the CBN, it would not efficiently accomplish its regulatory directive.
“Politicians and even the executive think short term. The CBN thinks long term. If you allow politicians to control the CBN, we will not achieve anything. Politicians will never allow us to manage inflation, interest rate simply because they want to win election.”
As the Chairman of the event, Sanusi was represented by Alhaji Suleiman Barau, the CBN Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau. The lecture was titled “Nigeria in the Year 2012: The Vision of a Cashless Economy,” and was presented by Nweke.
Reacting to former Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Senator Nkechi Nwogwu’s comments that some CBN guiding principles must be subjected to legislative authorization, first, arguing that while CBN should have total autonomy in its regulatory tasks, some of its guidelines, such as the then anticipated introduction of the N5000 banknote should be subjected to legislative examination.
“I don’t think the Senate has ever said the independence of the CBN should be curtailed. We never said so. The intervention of the CBN in distressed banks and the like is within its purview,” she said
“But there’s no agency that is an island. We are saying that there are some of its projects, which need democratic review. Certain monetary policies must be brought before the legislature for a review. That is what we are concerned about. We are not at loggerheads with CBN at all. All we’re saying is that they should consider the opinions of Nigerians.”
Senator Nwogwu, also moved against the banknote policy, saying it says the opposite to the ‘cash-less’ plan “because in my handbag I can carry N20million.” Although Sanusi, had a different view of that, while defending the initiative through constructive arguments he later presented.