The Senate, after an intense three-hour screening session on Tuesday, confirmed the appointment of Mr. Olayemi Cardoso as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), along with four deputy governors – Emem Usoro, Muhammad Abdullahi-Dattijo, Philip Ikeazor, and Bala Bello.
Prior to the confirmation of these appointments, Senators from various political parties expressed their concerns during the screening. They voiced their worries about the continuous depreciation of the Naira against the US dollar and the overall state of the nation’s economy.
Senator Abdulaziz Yari, representing APC Zamfara West, raised the issue of the Naira’s troubling situation in the forex market and the general weakness of the economy, directing his question to the CBN Governor.
Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, of APC Abia North, echoed similar concerns, acknowledging that the appointees were taking office during a challenging period. He commented on the dire state of the nation’s economy, especially the plummeting value of the Naira.
Even the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, joined in the discussion about the failing economy. He asked the CBN Governor and his Deputies how they planned to address the situation. Akpabio emphasized the need for monetary policies that could strengthen the Naira and stabilize the economy.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing APGA Abia South, added to the intensity of the questioning by directly asking the CBN Governor if he would have the courage to deny the President’s requests for ‘Ways and Means,’ which had contributed to the country’s staggering N87 trillion debt.
Adding his voice also, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, from APC Edo North, challenged the CBN Governor and his Deputies to think innovatively. He disagreed with the policy of relying solely on market forces to stabilize the Naira, stating that state intervention was necessary from time to time. He also warned that if Nigeria continued to import everything, the Naira would continue to weaken.
The newly confirmed CBN Governor assured the lawmakers that he and his team would address the challenges facing the economy and the Naira. He pledged to promote compliance with rules and policies and maintain transparency in their operations. He also emphasized the critical issue of money supply and its impact on inflation, promising to work closely with the fiscal side to address deficit financing and its consequences on the economy.