By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
Lagos – Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, an economist, has appealed to the National Assembly to ensure quick confirmation of members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2017.
Tella, a Professor of Economics at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
He said that early confirmation of the MPC members was necessary to enable the committee meet to consider and approve the 2018 monetary policy as well as ensure macroeconomic stability in the country.
NAN reports that the MPC meeting scheduled for this week has been cancelled due to the non-confirmation of nominees by the Senate.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in October 2017, nominated Mrs Aisha Ahmad as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He also sought the confirmation of Messrs Adeola Adenikinju, Aliyu Sanusi, Robert Asogwa and Mrs Asheikh Maidugu as members of the CBN Monetary Policy Committee.
The Senate is yet to confirm the nominees.
The Second Schedule of the CBN Act (Section 12(5) and 54 stipulate that the MPC should meet at least four times in a year.
The Act also states that the quorum should be formed with six members in attendance, two of whom should be the Governor and a Deputy Governor or two Deputy Governors.
Tella described monetary policy as macroeconomic measures to complement fiscal measures for macroeconomic stability.
He said that the current delay in the final approval of the budget was of concern to the nation, saying that “there is the need for the MDAs to cooperate and defend their budgets before the National Assembly.”
According to him, further delay in the passage of the 2018 budget will have negative effects on the country`s economic growth.
Tella said that if the delay was not properly managed, it could affect the fortunes of the current government at the polls in the forth coming elections.
Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has allayed fears of Nigerians and the international community over the inability of the MPC to meet in January.
He said that the MPC could not meet as scheduled due to the inability to form a quorum as stipulated in the CBN Act 2007.
Emefiele said that the CBN would continue to maintain key monetary targets as decided in the last MPC meeting of November 2017.
He said that a revised schedule of the meeting for the MPC would be communicated as soon as the committee met the statutory requirements to form a quorum.
The CBN governor assured that the CBN would continue to sustain the gains recorded in the economy and to proactively ensure overall macro-economic stability in 2018. (NAN)