The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has threatened to arrest the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for disrespecting the lawmakers.
Nigeria’s lower chamber had summoned Emefiele and top directors of the central bank to explain the inability of the financial regulator to adequately circulate the redesigned naira.
However, Gbajabiamila said the Emefiele and other officials of the apex bank didn’t respond to the summons. He said their decision not to appear before the lower house is a blatant disregard for Nigerians and an insult to the authority.
The lawmaker said Emefiele’s no-show “is evidence of a blatant disregard for the well-being of the Nigerian people who are their customers. It is also an insult to the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament.”
“no official of the CBN appeared to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives. This is unacceptable.
“The Resolution of the House was predicated on information showing that the rollout of the redesigned naira notes has been an unmitigated failure.
“This failure has real and dire consequences on the ability of Nigerians to conduct business across the country,” Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker threatened that the House of Representatives will “not hesitate to issue a warrant to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to compel the attendance of the CBN or Managing Directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives,” he added.
Although the leader of the legislative said the lower chamber recognises the CBN authority to determine the country’s legal tender and to recall currency with reasonable notice, subject to the approval of the President.
However, the statement by Gbajabiamila said: “The House is also aware that Section 20 (3) Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act mandates the CBN to redeem the face value of the recalled currency upon demand, even after the expiration of the notice of recall.
“Notwithstanding the deadline imposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), this House will see to it that this provision of the law is honoured in full.”