The House of Representatives yesterday passed for second reading a Bill seeking to amend Section 11 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act to ban holders of the office of Governor or Deputy Governor of the bank from participating in partisan politics.

When passed into law and assented to by the President, the amendment will ensure that future governors of the nation’s apex bank resign their position when they become members of political parties or participate in partisan politics.

Leading the debate on the Bill, its sponsor, Sada Soli (APC, Katsina), said the Bill was not targeted at any particular individual but aimed at protecting the image and integrity of the CBN.

The current CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had approached the court, seeking an interpretation of the CBN Act and permission to participate in active politics in the run-off to the APC presidential primary.

Soli said: “This amendment is no prejudice to anybody but because the Act was tested and it was found weak. Therefore, we need to strengthen the CBN as the lender of last resort, the bank of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to restore its credibility from the shock it has suffered in the cause of interpreting the law, basically because of the absence of what I’m trying to amend.

“If members go through the small gazette of the law, you will discover that Section 11 states that a person shall not remain a Governor, Deputy Governor or director of the bank, if he is a member of any federal or state legislative house…”