A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Kingsley Moghalu has knocked down President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the bank on food importation.
Concise News had reported that Buhari, on Monday, directed the apex bank not to provide foreign exchange for food importation.
“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,” Buhari told the CBN.
“We have achieved food security, and for physical security, we are not doing badly.”
But the move, according to Moghalu who was a presidential candidate in the 2019 poll, is an interference in the duties of the CBN.
“Is Central Bank now a ministry to be “directed” by President Buhari? Article 1(3) of the CBN Act 2007 states ‘In order to facilitate the achievement of its mandate under this Act…the Bank shall be an independent body in the discharge of its functions,” he tweeted.
“The issue here isn’t whether or not CBN should allow access to forex for food imports.
“It is about whether such an economic policy of a central bank should be imposed by a political authority.
“A major reason for our poverty, instability and a weak economy is weak institutions.”
According to him, “Our marketplace should be regulated and guided in a rational manner that creates a level playing field.
“Our economy will not be saved by Ad Hoc political decisions like this, handed down by the very institutions that should be shielded from the whim and caprice of politicians.
“Nigeria’s entire economy appears to have been sub-contracted to our central bank, including industrial and trade policy.
“In the process, the economy has fared poorly and the Bank has lost its independence. This is sad!
“The Nigerian President should leave Central Bank alone to discharge its mandate independently within the ambit of the CBN Act and stop “directing” it.
“The Central Bank should on its part assertive its independence (assuming it actually believes it should be independent, but the Act says so, clearly!”