Parliament on Thursday approved three nominees to the leadership of the Central Bank of Kenya, paving the way for their formal appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The lawmakers also set the agenda for the nominees — Dr Patrick Njoroge (governor), Ms Sheila M’Mbijiwe (deputy governor) and Mr Mohammed Nyaoga (CBK board chairman). They are taking over the positions at a time when the economy is faced with a myriad challenges.
The MPs said the officials, who are highly qualified, should deal with the weak shilling, inflation and the high interest rates charged by commercial banks on loans.
The lawmakers also had to extend normal sitting hours so as to conclude the approval.
Majority Leader Aden Duale said the three should address inflation and the fall of the shilling. He said the country should avoid attracting sanctions from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank over failure to tame the fall of the local currency.
He also said Mr Nyaoga had agreed to relinquish his chairmanship of Ecobank of Kenya Limited to avoid conflict of interest. He said Mr Nyaoga is qualified and experienced for the position.
Finance Committee Chairman Benjamin Langat said his team had done a good job of vetting the nominees.
In their findings, the committee noted that Dr Njoroge had wide knowledge and experience in issues relating to monetary policy but was less conversant with the Kenyan working environment and required mentorship and close guidance from his colleagues.
“The nominee was found to be open-minded, independent and exhibited impressive knowledge of topical issues touching on monetary policy and has the requisite abilities, qualifications and experience to serve as the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya,” says the committee’s report tabled in the National Assembly yesterday.
“However, he may not be conversant with the Kenyan working environment, considering that he has worked abroad for almost his entire life. He will, therefore, have to create a good working rapport with his team and the stakeholders to help him govern,” says the report.
There was no mention in the report of the fact that the 54-year-old economist is still single, and also told the committee during his vetting on Tuesday that he had no investments in Kenya.
On Mr Nyaoga, the committee recommended that he relinquish some of the positions he holds to avoid conflict of interest and also to give him enough time to concentrate on his new role.
The committee noted that Mr Nyaoga had exhibited impressive knowledge of topical issues on administration and corporate governance. It said he has the requisite abilities and qualifications to serve as the CBK chairman.
As for Ms M’Mbijiwe, the committee expressed no reservations, saying she was fit for the position of deputy governor.
“The committee has noted that the nominee was open-minded, honest and exhibited impressive knowledge of issues relating to the financial sector and has the requisite abilities, qualifications and experience,” says the report.