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Cash withdrawal limit: Tension as Emefiele shuns House of Representatives again

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.Lawmakers give CBN Gov 2-day ultimatum to appear
.Bullion van politicians are after CBN Gov, says Atiku/Okowa Campaign

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Obiora Ifoh, Abuja

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for the second time failed to appear before the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

 

The House had summoned Emefiele to explain the latest policy by the apex bank which, among others, sets limits to cash withdrawals at the Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions.

 

The House was to grill Emefiele over the policy on Thursday last week but he failed to appear before the lawmakers.

 

The Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, CBN, Edward Adamu, in a communication to the House, told the lawmakers that Emefiele was part of the entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari on an official trip to the United States.

 

Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, who read out the letter to members at the opening of plenary on Thursday, said the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, had rescheduled Emefiele’s appearance to Tuesday.

 

However, the CBN wrote the House again to say Emefiele was still on official assignment.

 

Gbajabiamila said the lawmakers would want to know about the official assignment that had lasted two weeks.

 

The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, pointed out that should the CBN governor decide not to appear before the House on Thursday, when the lawmakers have scheduled to go on Christmas and New Year break, their resolution on suspension of the policy still stands

Also, 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.

Meanwhile,The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization has carefully reviewed the onslaught on the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele and calls for restrain, given the sensitivity of his position to the nation’s economy.

 

Spokesperson Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement said, “This is especially on the backdrop of apprehensions that inordinately ambitious politicians that run activities with bullion vans and raw cash are out to destroy the nation’s financial institutions, particularly, the CBN, for their selfish political interests.

 

“It is instructive to caution that the stability of the CBN as Nigeria’s apex financial institution is critical to the economic and social health of our nation and must not fall prey to corrupt politicians who are out to annex and control our national patrimony as well as resources for their personal ambitions.

 

“Nigerians know the politicians who are desperate for political office as their “turn”, who see our nation and her citizens as an estate for sale, and who believe that their vacuity, many gaffes, manifest incompetence, incapacity for leadership and allegations of smelly past can be perfumed through the dispensing of corruptly acquired cash.

 

“It is therefore important that those who are after the CBN and her Governor should be careful not to discredit the institution in the process as the consequential effect of such will be disastrous on our already ailing economy.

 

“Our Campaign counsels such politicians to rather market their programmes to Nigerians, if they have any, and end their reprehensible hope on vote buying.

 

“What is of paramount importance to us in the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization is the stability of the polity, economic growth as well as the wellbeing and happiness of Nigerians in the overall national interest.”

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