A bill seeking to bar the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from getting involved in partisan politics has passed second reading at the house of representatives.
The proposed legislation also seeks to prohibit the deputy governor and directors of the CBN from participating in partisan politics while in office.
The bill, which aims to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act 2007, is sponsored by Sada Soli, a lawmaker from Katsina state.
The section stipulates the conditions upon which the governor of the CBN and the deputy shall cease to hold office.
The amendment proposes to add that the CBN governor will vacate his office if he/she “is a member of a political party or involved in partisan politics”.
Leading the debate on the bill, Soli said the proposed legislation is not targeted at an individual, adding that it is intended to cure the “shock the Act has suffered when it was tested”.
“This amendment is no prejudice to anybody because the act was tested and it was found to be weak,” he said.
“Therefore, we need to strengthen the CBN as the last lender of the resort of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to restore its credibility from the shock it suffered in the course of interpreting the law.
“These changes will enable any person who is interested in partisan politics to cease as the governor of the central bank and this will give more honour to the position of the CBN governor, and deputy governor.”
In the build-up to the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential primary in June, some interest groups had procured the presidential nomination and expression of interest form for Godwin Emefiele, governor of CBN.
The development was met with pushback from some Nigerians who queried the possibility of the CBN governor contesting the presidency while in office.
Reacting to the rumoured presidential ambition, some civil society organisations (CSOs), including Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo, had asked the CBN governor to resign his position.
Amid the calls for his resignation, Emefiele filed a suit asking a federal high court in Abuja to declare him eligible to participate in the 2023 presidential election.
The CBN governor, however, withdrew the suit days before the APC presidential primary election.