The three chief executive officers of banks who are members of the board of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) may have pulled out yesterday over the group’s criticism of some policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), especially on foreign exchange management.
The banks whose bosses were said to have resigned from the board include United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Bank Plc and Sterling Bank.
A member of the NESG media team, who was contacted by The Guardian to confirm the report, declined to speak on the matter.
The NESG had, on Tuesday, issued a 15-point statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, on the state of the economy.
It was gathered that in the statement, NESG requested that President Muhammadu Buhari should withhold assent to the repealed and re-enacted Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.
The group claims that the bill contains certain provisions that breach the constitution, confers immunity on officials of the CBN, and exempts actions by the apex bank from judicial review.
NESG said those provisions were draconian, totalitarian, and inimical to the development of a stable and transparently regulated financial sector.
“We also most respectfully request that our legislative houses should subject all bills, in particular, such crucial bills, to the most efficient scrutiny necessary to ensure compliance with the Nigerian constitution, transparency, good governance, and the best interest of the people of Nigeria,” NESG said.
The group expressed concern about some distortions in the liquidity and interest rate management of the country’s financial system, which it said had resulted in rated distortions causing grave disadvantage to domestic investors and pensioners.
It warned that “this will occasion major disincentives to savings and investments and thereby be a disadvantage to the Nigerian pensioners and long-term savers. This is inimical to this administration’s concern for the elderly, the weak, the infirmed, and those who had served this country meritoriously in their prime.”