BY PETER EGWUATU
LAGOS—In apparent move to abridge the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s autonomy, House of Representatives plan to hand down bank supervision function to the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, (CIBN).
This move was disclosed by the Chairman House Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr. Jones Onyereri who said this would be an integral focus of the House in 2013 to ensure that it separates bank supervision function away from CBN.
Meanwhile, there is a bill before the House, which seeks to amend the CBN Act 2007 by transferring the power of the board of the apex bank to approve its budget to the National Assembly. The bill also proposes to cut the membership of the board from 12 to seven and to appoint another person, other than the CBN governor, as the chairman of the board.
According to Onyereri, “The core function of the CBN is really on the monetary policy matter; in Nigeria, CBN also uses its core mandate of bank supervision, now we need to hear from CIBN, we are looking at the institute critically.
“With the kind of challenges we have, it has come to the time that we should separate that function away from CBN.”
Make an independent one; probably the Financial Supervisory Committee, to deal with issues of bank supervision. We need to hear from CIBN and then take it from there.” However, Onyereri at the special ACIB Induction for the pioneering graduates of the Chartered Bank MBA of the institute, urged CIBN to rise up to the challenge in making contribution to monetary policy issues, ensuring the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) comes low, being the reason why banks increase their interest rates as this slows down economy growth.
While on the cashless policy by CBN, he said it should be allowed to transient down to significant reduction of charges by banks, stating that before moving to other states, CBN should allow the pilot scheme get to at least 80per cent of Lagos State.
Onyereri decried the underperformance of banks in granting loans to customers, while suggesting that the only way to break the barrier was through empowering the SMEs as CBN plans to bring intervention funds for Micro Finance Banks was a viable measure.
The Chairman House Committee on Banking and Currency further disclosed that when it resumes plenary in 2013, it would focus on cashless policy, financial inclusion, Micro finance banks, amending the NDIC Acts to make it stronger.