Nigerian Senate on Tuesday approved the nomination and appointment of Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnana, as the Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, representing the South-East geo-political zone of the country.
The upper chamber ratified Nanana’s appointment following the consideration of the report of his screening by the Chairman, Joint committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Bassey Otu.
The committee had in its report, described the deputy governor designate as very resourceful, articulate and a vibrant economist per excellence who convinced members of the panel that screened him of his ability to efficiently handle the job.
Senate President, David Mark, congratulated Nanana on behalf of his colleagues and noted that the CBN would play a crucial role in the current economic situation of the country.
He therefore urged the apex bank to work religiously to make sure that the country does not find itself in a fix economically in view of the declining price of the crude oil prices in the international market.
Nnana, while answering questions from the committee members noted that one of the ways to wriggle out of the economic crisis in the country was to recapitalise development banks with a view to encouraging them to lend at controlled interest rates.
He had said, “My take is that since we have development banks like the Bank of Industry, Nexim bank, Bank of Agriculture, and so on, we can recapitalise all of them and mandate them to lend at a fixed interest rate for the entrepreneurs and other investors willing to invest in the Nigerian economy.
“If we recapitalise the BoI and we tell the Managing Director that we are giving you this money, and ask him to lend at a specific interest rates, he will oblige us because it is the tax payers money.
“We cannot force the management of a private commissioned bank to lend at a fixed rate because they will take into consideration, the risk premium, especially when most people borrow without the intention of repayment.”
He had noted that the non performing loans in the country were very high and that banks’ balance sheet was landing on non performing loan stressing that the nation had passed the era of fixed interest rate.