A bill aiming to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act has successfully passed the Second Reading at the House of Representatives. Sponsored by Francis Waive, the proposed amendment focuses on addressing critical aspects of the Act to improve the effectiveness, transparency, and accountability of the apex bank and its operations.

During the debate on the House floor, Waive, who represents Ughelli North/South/Udu Federal Constituency in Delta State, underscored the importance of amending Section 6 of the CBN Act. The proposed changes include separating the Chairman of the Board of the apex bank from the CBN Governor to enhance independence, oversight, and the overall governance structure.

According to Waive, the amendment introduces a crucial change by mandating that the Chairman of the Board must be a Former Governor of the CBN, a former Chairman of the Bank, or a former Managing Director of a bank. This shift aims to bring in a background outside of the current CBN leadership, reducing the concentration of power and providing unbiased oversight.

The separation of the Chairman from the Governor is expected to enhance the system of checks and balances within the CBN’s governance structure, preventing groupthink, reducing potential conflicts of interest, and ensuring policy decisions are not influenced by personal or vested interests.

Waive emphasized that an independent Chairman, selected from outside the current leadership, can symbolize impartiality and transparency, boosting public confidence in the CBN’s operations. The proposed amendment requires the Chairman to have the necessary financial and economic expertise, having served as a former Governor, Chairman, or Managing Director of a bank.

In addition to the Chairman-Governor separation, the bill seeks amendments to Section 7(1) to improve the operational efficiency and accountability of the CBN to the Nigerian public.

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