February 1, 2018 / 6:03 PM / a year ago

Nigeria's Buhari nominates new central bank deputy governor

ABUJA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s president nominated a central bank veteran to be a deputy governor of the bank, the presidency said on Thursday, in a move to fill vacant posts after the bank cancelled an interest rate setting meeting last month due to a lack of members.

President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Edward Adamu, with over two decades experience at the central bank, to replace Sulaiman Barau, who retired in December. Barau was formerly in charge of operations.

Adamu, from northern Nigeria, would need to be confirmed by the Senate. Buhari informed the Senate of the appointment through a letter dated Jan. 26, the presidency said.

Several new members of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) are yet to be approved by lawmakers, a situation resulting from a standoff between the presidency and parliament over the latter’s powers to confirm — or deny — executive nominees to key posts within the government.

The impasse led the bank to cancel its MPC meeting last month and risk threatening the bank’s independence and damaging fragile investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy.

The bank then maintained benchmark rates at 14 percent, a level it has kept them at for more than a year, to tighten liquidity and support the currency.

At least five of the MPC’s 12 members are due to be replaced after retiring last year, but there are only four at the moment, leaving the MPC unable to form a quorum. At least six members are needed for the MPC to approve an interest rate decision. (Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha, Editing by William Maclean)

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