The House of Representatives has again given the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, two days ultimatum to appear before it to explain the apex bank’s new policy on cash withdrawals limit.
The House gave the ultimatum while reading a letter by Emefiele explaining why he could not appear during plenary in Abuja on Tuesday.
The latest development followed the CBN Governor’s inability to appear before the House during the first summon, sequel to the resolution passed by the lower chamber of the National Assembly on December 15 for him to appear to explain the new policy.
In his letter, Emefiele had said he was unavoidably absent as he was in the United States with President Muhammadu Buhari on an official visit, adding that the House should give him another date
The Speaker of the House of Reps, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the House should resolve to invite Emefiele to brief it on December 22 or invite his deputy to appear and brief the House on the new policy.
“The earlier date is today, at 10 a.m, and just yesterday, the clerk received a letter where it was stated that the Governor was regrettably unavailable because he has other official engagement,” Gbajabiamila said.
In his contribution, Yusuf Gadgi (APC-Plateau) said there was a need for public officers to account for their activities before the national assembly, whenever they were called upon.
“Public officers should know that it was not the Speaker or any member that was inviting the CBN Governor to come and explain some of the policies that Nigerians need to know.
“I am not against the policy, but against disrespect for the Speaker, who is the symbol of this house.
“We have name to protect, we should be mindful of the impression the house is given, coming back to address some of these policies is important and we will not tolerate further excuses,” Gadgi stated.
Responding, Femi Bamishile (APC-Ekiti) appealed to the lawmakers to exercise patience, adding that the letter to the CBN Governor came when he was out of the country.
He, however, urged Gbajabiamila to give Emefeiele a new date.
The Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, said the House has taken a position, adding that the issue of inviting the CBN Governor was just to fulfil all rigthousness.
“We have asked him to stop the implementation of the policy. What we should be looking at, is whether he will disregard the resolution and go ahead with the policy,” he said.
The Majority Leader of the House, Al-Hassan Doguwa, said it would not be too bad if Emefiele should come and explain the new policy before the House, adding that it would help the green chamber to make an informed decision.
The Speaker, however, said the important thing was to get a proper briefing, stressing that based on the law, Emefiele should brief the House.
“At this point, we will be requesting for the official assignment that will keep the CBN governor away from the country for that long,” he noted.
Gbajabiamila stated that the invitation to Emefiele was not from him but from the House, adding that his refusal to appear on Tuesday should not be seen as disrespect to him.