The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Mr. Godwin Emefiele as Governor-Designate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, after being screened for about 2 hours.
The exercise, which was broadcast live on television, saw the upper chamber of the National Assembly unanimously approve the appointment of the Zenith Bank boss as replacement for Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was suspended last month on charges of “financial recklessness and misconduct”.
Senate president David Mark said it was a key appointment, adding: “Emefiele will ensure the prerequisite responsibilities of the central bank governor without fear or favour”.
Among questions answered by Mr. Emefiele are whether the apex bank should be answerable to parliament. The National Assembly has been trying to get the CBN to submit its budget for scrutiny.
In his response, Mr. Emefiele appealed to the senators to ensure that whatever amendments are done to the CBN Act should conform to best global practices.
Emefiele also pledged not to spend any money in contravention of the law and decried the uncontrollable injection of foreign currencies into the economy stressing that the development if not controlled, could spell doom for the system.
He said, “We will be fair, just, and firm in the discharge of our duties and ensure that we have a strong exchange rate.”
Information Nigeria reports that Emefiele had almost no profile outside the banking sector and was not in the running for the nation’s number one banker until President Goodluck Jonathan put his name forward, surprising industry analysts, who said he was a low-profile, conservative figure who was not likely to rock the boat like his predecessor.
Meanwhile, the senate has also confirmed the appointment of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as President of the Court of Appeal after acting in that capacity since November 23, 2012.
Bulkachuwa, while speaking on some of the challenges confronting the judiciary, lamented its under-funding, stressing that the development was affecting speedy administration of justice.
She also said the use of longhand to record proceedings at the court due to absence of electronic recording facilities, would be addressed if her appointment was confirmed.
The senate’s approval of Bulkachuwa as head of Nigeria’s second highest court is historic in that just like the Chief Justice of Nigeria – Mariam Aloma Mukhtar – she is the first woman to occupy that enviable position.