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UBA’s GMD, Uzoka, 2 others quit NESG over CBN’s economic policies



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The Group Managing Director of United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc, Kennedy Uzoka, First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc Managing Director Adesola Adeduntan and Sterling Bank Plc Managing Director Abubakar Suleiman have resigned from the board of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in protest against some of the measures taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stabilise the financial system and fast-track economic recovery.

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is a non-profit, non-partisan private sector organization with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led globally competitive economy.

Their resignation appears to be related to the recent spat between the NESG and the CBN following a controversial press release that purportedly claimed Godwin Emefiele was seeking immunity.

The report also attacked the recent macroeconomic policies approach of the CBN in ensuring economic stability.

It was learnt that the NESG management’s criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government policies and the Godwin Emefiele-led CBN have created disagreements among its members.

It was gathered that the group’s Tuesday statement entitled: “Matters of Urgent Attention”, which did not have the input of members of the Board, drew the ire of members and triggered the latest uproar.

In a report, the NESG said since the inception of this administration, agriculture and the need to ensure zero hunger for Nigerians have received considerable attention.

But the group added that despite the budgetary allocations and huge sums of money disbursed by the CBN through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), a huge gap remains in meeting the food requirements.

Noting the evolving developmental roles of central banks around the world, especially as it concerns resource allocations, the NESG said such allocative roles must be undertaken in an open, transparent and fair manner.

It said: “The group expresses serious concerns about how the CBN has carried on the business of foreign exchange transactions, loan disbursements (intervention funds) and price fixings without appropriate policy clarity.

The NESG also expressed severe concerns about certain provisions of the ‘repealed and re-enacted’ Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act 2020; recently passed by the National Assembly, and in the process of being transmitted to the President for assent.

But the CBN fired back, saying its intervention policies were necessary to keep the economy going in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.