Senate to amend CBN Act, bars governor from partisan politics

Written by on October 26, 2023

Two separate bills demanding greater transparency in the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, passed second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

The first bill titled: Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment Amendment) Bill 2023″ was sponsored by Senator Steve Karimi, is seeking to prevent a person occupying the office of Central Bank Governor from participating in partisan politics.

The second one titled: “A Bill to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, and for matters connected therewith, 2023”, which was sponsored by Senator Darlington Nwokocha, is seeking for amendments to enhance transparency in the operations of the apex bank.

Explaining the motivation for his bill, Karimi said the piece of legislation would if passed lead to greater accountability and transparency in the operations of the apex bank.

He also said his proposed amendment if passed will prohibit the use of foreign currency in local transactions in Nigeria.

Specifically, Karimi proposed amendments to section 9(2) of the CBN Act which reads: “Notwithstanding the Provisions of this Act or any written law in existence, the Governor and the Deputy Governor of the Bank shall not participate directly or indirectly in partisan politics, nor contest any election, during their tenure in office.”

The proposed amendment reads: “20(A) Prohibition of the use of foreign currency in democratic transactions:

“(1) No person or body corporate shall use any foreign currency as a means of exchange for goods, services and other transactions in markets supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, airports and other places of business in Nigeria except by a Bank, licensed Bureau De Change and other financial institutions duly authorized by the Central Bank of Nigeria to trade, deal and use such currency and no individual or business entity in Nigeria shall advertise, denominate or price its goods or services in any currency other than the Nigerian Naira and Kobo.

“(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to: (a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of N250, 000.00 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or both such fine and imprisonment; (b) in the case of a corporate entity to a fine of N1, 000,000 and a conviction of three months to its officers or directors who authorized or undertook the transaction.

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