ABUJA, March 13 – Nigeria’s Senate plans to start screening new members of the central bank’s interest rate committee after it held up some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees in a political spat.
Rafiu Ibrahim, the head of the Senate’s banking committee, brought a motion on Tuesday urging parliament to consider Buhari’s nominations.
The Senate disagreed with the president about its powers to confirm – or deny – his nominees to key government posts, a disagreement that has kept several prospective members of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from being approved.
Buhari has nominated central bank veteran, Edward Adamu, to be a deputy governor of the bank, replacing Sulaiman Barau, who retired in December. But Adamu and others are yet to be screened .
Consequently, the MPC has just four members now, out of 12 positions. A quorum of at least six members is needed to approve an interest rate decision.
Unable to gather a quorum, the central bank had to cancel a meeting in January and leave rates unchanged at 14 percent, where they have been for more than a year.
An MPC meeting is scheduled for next week, with a decision on rates due on Tuesday. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh, writing by Chijioke Ohuocha, editing by Larry King)