The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has threatened to issue a warrant of arrest on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and bank directors over their collective failure to honour an invite to appear before the green chamber over scarcity of three newly designed naira notes.
The House had summoned the CBN and bank directors over the January 31, 2023 deadline for the validity of old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes but the apex bank and managing directors of commercial banks refused to heed the invitation by the green chamber.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement on Thursday, said the CBN and the bank chiefs, by shunning the invitation of the House, insulted the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament. “This is unacceptable,” he said.
The House had about two months ago asked the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before the House over the naira redesign but the invitation wasn’t honoured by the CBN governor.
The House subsequently invited bank chiefs to give reasons for the ongoing failure to adequately disburse the redesigned naira notes before the expiration of the January 31, 2023.
The House further constituted an ad-hoc committee led by the Majority Leader of the House, Alhassan Ado Doguwa over the matter.
The Speaker said, “The Resolution of the House was predicated on information showing that the rollout of the redesigned naira notes has been an unmitigated failure. This failure has real and dire consequences on the ability of Nigerians to conduct business across the country.
“The refusal by the CBN to heed the invitation by the House of Representatives is evidence of a blatant disregard for the well-being of the Nigerian people who are their customers. It is also an insult to the authority and prerogatives of the people’s parliament.
“Therefore, I will, pursuant to the authority conferred by Section 89 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Order 19 (2)(1) of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives, not hesitate to issue a warrant to the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force to compel the attendance of the CBN or Managing Directors who fail, refuse or neglect to respond to the summons by the House of Representatives.”