‘@NGRPresident should leave @cenbank alone to discharge its mandate independently within the ambit of the CBN Act, and stop “directing” it. @cenbank should on its part assertive its independence (assuming it actually believes it should be independent, but the Act says so, clearly!’ former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has tweeted
Moghalu on Tuesday decried President Muhammadu Buhari statement he directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to stop providing foreign exchange for food importation in other to improve agricultural production and for Nigerian to attain full food security.
Buhari said to the CBN ‘Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’
Moghalu in his tweets on Tuesday enjoined the President stop such directives saying: ‘Our marketplace should be regulated and guided in a rational manner that creates a level playing field. Our economy will not be saved by Ad Hoc political decisions like this, handed down by the very institutions that should be shielded from the whim and caprice of politicians.’
Moghalu asked if the CBN is now a ministry to be “directed” by President @MBuhari ?
“Is @cenbank now a ministry to be “directed” by President @MBuhari ? Article 1(3) of the CBN Act 2007 states ‘In order to facilitate the achievement of its mandate under this Act…the Bank shall be an independent body in the discharge of its functions,” he said.
“The issue here isn’t whether or not CBN should allow access to forex for food imports. It is about whether such an economic policy of a central bank should be imposed by a political authority. A major reason for our poverty, instability and weak economy is weak institutions.
“Our marketplace should be regulated and guided in a rational manner that creates a level playing field. Our economy will not be saved by Ad Hoc political decisions like this, handed down by the very institutions that should be shielded from the whim and caprice of politicians.
“Nigeria’s entire economy appears to have been sub-contracted to our central bank, including industrial and trade policy. In the process the economy has fared poorly and the Bank has lost its independence. This is sad!
“@NGRPresident should leave @cenbank alone to discharge its mandate independently within the ambit of the CBN Act, and stop “directing” it. @cenbank should on its part assertive its independence (assuming it actually believes it should be independent, but the Act says so, clearly!”
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement, said Buhari stated this when he hosted All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to Eid-el-Kabir lunch at his country home in Daura, Katsina state on Tuesday.
According to the president, the foreign reserve will be used strictly for diversification of the economy and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ he said.
The President noted that some states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had taken advantage of the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming.
He, therefore, urged more states to plug into the ongoing revolution to feed the nation.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security we are not doing badly,’’ he said.
Buhari said he was particularly delighted that young Nigerians, including graduates, had started exploring agric-business and entrepreneurship, with many posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.
He said the incoming ministers would be guided to meet the targets of the APC-led government for the people.
The president added that regular monitoring of their performances and scaling up of targets would be done by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Buhari gave the assurance of attending the Presidential Policy Retreat organized for the ministers by the OSFG.
He insisted on compliance with laid down targets on key sectors of the economy that would directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, said the President’s sense of justice and fairness had been inspiring to governors.
He said the challenges faced by states “were enormous”, but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the President of strong support and “the very best effort” to overcome the obstacles.
The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, appreciated the President for the unique leadership style of maintaining a healthy relationship with governors on individual and collective basis.
He stressed that they had been “energized’’ to do more in their states.
The governor commended the President for making bold and courageous efforts to reposition the economy for majority of Nigerians through inclusive policies.
“The country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people,” he added.
Bagudu said the party had been repositioned, after the 2019 elections, to work for the benefit of the majority of Nigerians, noting that “there will two elections this year and we need to work towards winning the two states.”
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