Senate To Screen Central Bank Nominees

Senate plans to start screening new members of the central bank’s interest rate committee after it held up some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees in a political spat.

Rafiu Ibrahim, the head of the Senate’s banking committee, brought a motion on Tuesday urging parliament to consider Buhari’s nominations.

The Senate disagreed with the president about its powers to confirm - or deny - his nominees to key government posts, a disagreement that has kept several prospective members of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from being approved.

Buhari has nominated central bank veteran, Edward Adamu, to be a deputy governor of the bank, replacing Sulaiman Barau, who retired in December. But Adamu and others are yet to be screened .

Consequently, the MPC has just four members now, out of 12 positions. A quorum of at least six members is needed to approve an interest rate decision.

Unable to gather a quorum, the central bank had to cancel a meeting in January and leave rates unchanged at 14 percent, where they have been for more than a year.

An MPC meeting is scheduled for next week, with a decision on rates due on Tuesday. 

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