By Andy Chukwu
Against some dissenting views, the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, got it easy as he appeared for screening for his reappointment before the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.
President Muhammadu Buhari last week re-nominated Emefiele to head the apex bank for another term of four years.
Senate screening is one of the constitutional requirements for appointment as CBN Governor, but Wednesday event was more of a family banter as no serious question was asked of Emefiele by the senators.
In his presentation, Emefiele bemoaned the situation where Nigerians disrespect policies of the bank.
“It is difficult but we will do our best,” he began.
“The road ahead is still very tough. I use this opportunity to appeal, we have to learn to respect the policies of the country. Nigeria has good and workable policies but implementation has been neglected because we see sabotaged activities. CBN will ensure that those who seek to undermine the policies of Nigeria will be brought to book. Pray for us because the road ahead is rough.”
He also commented on the government policy on agriculture and exchange rate.
“On Agriculture, the credit should go to the President. It was what he said “Eat what we produce” that birthed the Anchor Borrowers Programme. We have started looking at palm oil. The price of a barrel of palm oil is more than a barrel of crude oil. We will grow that market again. After palm oil, we will focus on cocoa in the South West.
After his speech, it was time for questions but instead of quizzing the CBN boss, the senators only praised him.
At intervals, they threw banters at him. None of the lawmakers asked him a question.
Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara-PDP) set the ball rolling as he prayed for Emefiele after praising him.
“I do not have any question for the Governor. I will just want to mention that now that your team is fully constituted, the nation is expecting better performance. I am overwhelmed. I wish you well and pray for you. May God continue to guide you. Now, we know the reason why there are some videos on social media because in Nigeria, once you are a good person, some people will always try to bring you down. We will expeditiously take a report to the chamber for consideration. You can take a bow.”
In a light-hearted manner, Peter Nwabaoshi cautioned his colleagues against questioning the CBN boss. Nwaoboshi represents Delta South District where Emefiele hails from.
“Before you start firing missiles, I want to tell you that I am here and you should not fire too much missiles. He is my constituent in whom I am well pleased,” he said.
Other lawmakers who spoke aligned with other speakers in praising and praying for Mr Emefiele.
The committee is expected to submit their report to the whole house in the coming days.