Friday, June 28, 2013

CBN appointments divide Senate

The Senate was yesterday divided on the confirmation of the appointment of four non-executive members of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The division was based on geo-political zone consideration and representation.
Although those pencilled for confirmation including Muhammad Musa Kafarati (Northeast), Collons Chike Chikeluba (Southeast), Adaba Anthony Adeiza (Northcentral) and Ayuli Jemide (Southsouth) were confirmed, senators insisted that the federal character principle as enshrined in the constitutionshould be complied with in all appointments.
Senator Ganiyu Solomon (Lagos West) noted that since the Southwest was not represented on the list of those nominated for appointment, the remainingslot should be reserved for the zone in the interest of equity and fair play.
But Senator Mohammed Goje (Gombe Central) reminded him that the Accountant-General of the Federation and the Permanent Secretary are members of the board.
He said the Northeast zone was always forgotten in terms of appointment.
Goje added that Kafarati appointed from the Northeast is qualified for the position, having served meritoriously in sensitive positions in the past.
Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Oyo South) said the Accountant-General and the Permanent Secretary are members of the board due to the positions they hold.
He submitted that it would be wrong to say that they represent the Southwest in the board since they were not appointed as non-executive members of the board.
Senate Minority Leader George Akume said qualified people should be appointed to sensitive positions, such as the board of the CBN.
He noted that in a country populated by professionals, efforts should be made to appoint the best.
Senator Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), after observing the trend of the debate, said the way out was for the Senate to amend the CBN Act to accommodate all geo-political zones in appointments.
He noted that senators struggle to ensure that their geo-political zones are represented in appointment because of favouritism and nepotism, which characterise appointments.
Adeyemi said everyone knows that those in authority recruit only persons from their areas.
Senate President David Mark described the debate as “healthy”, adding that senators should speak because they recognise that the day of reckoning would come.
He said the Senate should ensure that every zone is represented inappointments.
He noted that there would be no end to the debate.
The same sentiments occurred in the confirmation of the secretary and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Messrs Michael Ebong, Uwasomba Udochukwu, Emmanuel Ibitolu and Dr. Ismaila Mohammed Dukku were confirmed as members of the EFCC, while Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo was confirmed as member/secretary of the commission.
Mark congratulated the appointees and urged them to live up to expectation when they resume duty.
He told them not to disappoint the committees that screened them, the Senate and Nigerians.

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