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Again, Emefiele shuns Reps summon over cash withdrawal limits

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has again failed to honour the summons by the House of Representatives to clarify issues…

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has again failed to honour the summons by the House of Representatives to clarify issues on its recent policy on cash withdrawal limits.

Emefiele was billed to appear before the House on Tuesday following his failure to honour the earlier summons by the lawmakers.

Daily Trust reports that the House had earlier summoned Emefiele to appear last Thursday, December 15 to explain the latest policy of the apex bank which among others, restricted cash withdrawals from over-the-counter and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to N100, 000 and N500, 000 per week for individuals and corporate organizations, respectively.

However, Emefiele failed to appear before the lawmakers, saying he was away on an official assignment.

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CBN’s Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, in a communication to the House, told the lawmakers that Emefiele was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage to the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit and as such, could not honour the summon.

Following his absence, the lawmakers in their resolutions asked the CBN Governor to appear before the House on Tuesday, December 20.

But at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Emefiele, again, through a letter signed by Adamu, said he would not be able to appear before the lawmakers because he is not yet back in the country.

Speaker Femi Gbajamiamila, after reading the communication said the invitation should be rescheduled for this Thursday and wondered why the CBN governor is out of the country for over two weeks “at this critical time”.

“At this point, we will be requesting to find out what that official assignment is that keeps the CBN governor away for almost two weeks. I would love to know what that official assignment is at this critical time in Nigeria that will keep him away for two weeks”, Gbajabiamila said.

Abdulganiyu Olododo from Kwara raised a point of order saying, the CBN governor may yet not be available on Thursday.

“You said the CBN governor was out of the country and you’re picking another day on Thursday. How are we sure that he is going to be available this very Thursday?” Olododo queried.

Contributing to the subject, the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, said the House had already taken a position on the cash withdrawal policy, and that what is important is for Emefiele to implement the lawmakers’ decision.

Elumelu said, “Whether Emefiele honours the invitation or not, we have passed a resolution asking him to suspend the policy.”

According to him, what the House should be interested in is to see whether the CBN governor will disregard the resolution of both chambers.

In his ruling, Gbajabiamila said if the CBN governor is “unavoidably” unavailable on Thursday when he is expected, a “high-ranking deputy” should represent him.

“What is important is that this House gets a full proper briefing and I think it behoves the CBN governor in accordance with the law to brief this House. If for any reason it is verified that he is unavoidably out of the country on Thursday, he should ask his deputy governor or anyone who is well equipped to fully brief this House so that we do not carry this to next year”, Gbajabiamila said.