The House of Representatives has again given two days ultimatum, for the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, to appear before it, to explain the new policy of cash withdrawal limit.
The House gave the ultimatum in Abuja on Tuesday, while reading a letter by Emefiele, explaining why he could not appear today during plenary.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this was due to his inability to appear before the house during the first summon, sequel to the resolution passed by the House on Dec. 15 for him to appear to explain the new policy.
The speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the House should resolve to invite the CBN Governor, to brief it on Dec 22, or invite his deputy, who is well equipped, to come and brief the house on the new policy.
In his letter, Emefiele had said that he was unavoidably absent, as he was in the US with the President, on official visit, adding that the House should give him another date.
Gbajabiamila said, ” 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.”
In his contribution, Rep. Yusuf Gadgi (APC-Plateau) said there was need for public officers to account for their activities before the national assembly, whenever they were called upon.
According to him, 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,” he said.
Responding, Rep. Femi Bamishile (APC-Ekiti), appealed to members of the house, to exercise patience, adding that the letter to the CBN Governor came when he was out of the country
He said a new date could be given to the CBN Governor, while urging the speaker to give him a new date.
On his part, Rep Cook Olododo (SDP-Kwara), asked if the Speaker of the House was sure that the CBN Governor would be available on the new date.
Rep Ndudi Elumelu, the Minority Leader of the House, said the house had 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.
Al-Hassan Doguwa, the Majority leader of the House, said it would not be too bad if the governor should come and explain the new policy before the house.
He added that in this case, questions could be raised when he comes, adding that it would help the house to make informed decision.
The speaker, however, said the important thing was to get proper briefing and based on the law, the governor should brief this 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.
Gbajabiamila later clarified that the invitation to Emefiele was not from the speaker, but from the House, adding that his refusal to come today should not be seen as disrespect to him.(NAN)