By Godwin Okoro
A member of the House of Representatives, Sergius Ogun, has called for the sacking and prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for allegedly violating the provisions of the CBN Act 2007.
The federal legislator made the call during the plenary yesterday.
He pointed out that the total borrowings of the Federal Government of Nigeria from the CBN in the past six years have been in flagrant breach of Section 38 of the CBN Act, 2007.
Section 38 of the CBN act states that; “Notwithstanding the provision of section 34(d) of this act, the bank may grant temporary advances to the federal government in respect of temporary deficiency of budget revenue as such rate of interest as the bank may determine.
“The total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five percent of the previous year’s actual revenue.”
However, Ogun said he was concerned that from January to June 2022, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has borrowed the sum of N2.4trn from the CBN which surpasses five per cent of the revenue made in 2021.
He said, “Worried that within the first six months of 2022, the Federal Government has borrowed a total of N2.4trn from the Central Bank of Nigeria which is far above five percent of the Federal Government’s revenue for 2021, which stood at N3.9trn.”
He also expressed concerns about the rising debt profile of the FG according to the Debt Management Office, which stands at N33.11trn as of March 2021, excluding the N15.51trn debt of the Federal Government to the CBN.
He said, “That Section 38 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 permits it to grant loan advances to the Federal Government in respect of temporary deficiency of budget of budget.”
“Section 38 of the CBN Act provides that loans shall be repaid by the Federal Government the same financial year it was granted, if the government fails to repay the loan as stipulated, the powers of the Central Bank of Nigeria to grant further loans to the Federal Government shall not be exercised.”
He noted that Sections 88 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigations into the activities of any authority executing or administering laws made by the National Assembly.
He, thereafter, urged President Buhari to immediately remove Emefiele from office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for violating the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007.
Ogun also urged the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to immediately prosecute the CBN governor for violating the provisions of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007.