The national co-ordinator, Centre for Societal Values and Development, Mr. Silas Udoh, says the autonomy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to formulate monetary polices and regulate the activities of financial institutions must not be tampered with, even as he stressed that banking reforms and recent monetary policy framework mapped out by the apex bank are restoring depositors confidence.
He made this known in a chat with Sunday Business, stressing that the autonomy of CBN is not responsible for the slow pace of economic growth and development in the country. “The problem is not with the autonomy of the CBN, but leadership. Once the policies of the CBN represent the economy well and we have holistic reforms in other sectors, development would pick up”, Udoh, also a lawyer, said.
He added, “If we look at it pragmatically, the CBN is not totally autonomous because the National Assembly, under its supervisory power, usually summons the apex bank to appear before the lawmakers to explain certain actions and monetary policies designed to regulate the financial sector.
This shows that there are checks and balances in the system because the supervisory power puts the apex bank under the control of National Assembly. This implies that the management of CBN could be compelled to refund if there is excessive spending.
“Under social corporate responsibility, CBN could donate to the victims of war and disaster as a body, not as an individual in the leadership position of the bank. The autonomy of the CBN does not in any way hinder economic prosperity of the country.
Notwithstanding the challenges, the economy would still improve. For example, the cashless policy of the CBN is very good, because it would curtail robbery and money laundering associated with carrying large volumes of cash about. Most importantly, the management of the apex bank must check its excesses.”