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Sanusi: Reps grill deputy speaker on Islamic Banking


The House of Representatives on Tuesday made a U-turn on the controversial non-interest banking policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, saying that it never endorsed the model.

The Chairman of its Ad-Hoc Committee on Media and Publicity, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, told a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday that the lawmakers decided not to ask the Governor of the CBN, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, questions when he visited the House did not translate to an endorsement of the policy.

Sanusi had appeared before the House on Thursday and defended Islamic banking and the daily cash withdrawal limit of N150,000 set by the CBN.

At the end of his presentation, the lawmakers gave him a standing ovation.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha,who presided, went a step further to summarise the reaction of lawmakers by stressing that they were “satisfied” with Sanusi’s explanations.

Opeyemi claimed that the House only chose to listen to Sanusi and opted not to ask him questions.

He said Sanusi’s visit was not planned to be a question and answer session.

Opeyemi added, “The House has not by any means and on whatever ground, endorsed Islamic banking.

“The CBN governor was invited to make clarifications on two policy issues on-non-interest banking and cash withdrawal limit.

“We as a House felt that we needed to take a position on these issues, but before doing so, we needed to hear from the CBN Governor.

“A decision will be taken at the appropriate time.”

Opeyemi explained that Sanusi was not asked questions because the presiding officer felt that doing so could overheat the polity.

“Nigeria does not need any overheating because we would not have been able to control the outcome that day.”

The lawmaker said the House met at an executive session on Tuesday and took a decision to clarify its earlier stance on Sanusi’s presentation.

However, The PUNCH learnt that the leadership hurriedly called the closed-door session in a bid to quell the protest which boiled over at the House following Sanusi’s visit.

At the meeting on Tuesday which was again presided over by Ihedioha, lawmakers reportedly grilled him on why he chose to protect Sanusi on Thursday.

Some were said to have told him that he cheapened the House before Sanusi and gave the impression that he (Sanusi) was a “Mr. Know all.”

“He explained that the matter would have got out of control because tempers rose after the CBN governor ended his speech.

“Allowing members to ask questions would have led to more emotions being expressed, considering the sensitive nature of the matter.”

Another lawmaker, a former chairman of a powerful committee, blamed the protests by some members on the “poor communication strategies used by the leadership.”


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Posted by on Jul 26 2011. Filed under CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria), Headlines, House, Legislature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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