The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Congress (YPP) in the 2019 general elections, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has criticised the presidential ban on providing foreign exchange for the importation of food into the country.
Professor Moghalu faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during an interview on Wednesday.
“The Central Bank does not require the formal and explicit approval of the President in order to perform its job,” said the former CBN deputy governor on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He added, “That is another way of saying that the President himself or any political authority outside the bank should not be giving the bank direct instructions.”
President Buhari had said the directive was important considering the “steady improvement” in agricultural production and attainment of “full food security” in Nigeria.
But Moghalu, who cited Article 1 of the CBN Act (2007), stated that the apex bank has been mandated to be independent in the discharge of its responsibilities.
He, however, noted that the President can act exercise his powers by approving on three key areas of the financial institution.
The economist said further, “This is a fundamental principle of central banking around the world over the last four decades. There are only three instances in the operations of the Central Bank where the Central Bank requires the direct approval of the President.
“First is the approval of the annual account of the Central Bank. The President must approve it. Second is the approval of currency designs.”
“For the Central Bank to issue the coin of the realm as we say (naira notes), the President has to approve those designs and proposals.
“Thirdly, any external investment by the Central Bank itself as an institution has to be approved by the President. Outside of these three specific instances, the Central Bank does not require the approval of the President in order to perform its job,” he said.