MPs have approved the appointment of Dr Kamau Thugge as governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), paving the way for him to succeed Dr Patrick Njoroge as the tenth head of the country’s monetary regulator.
Dr Thugge, a former PS at the National Treasury and currently the head of fiscal affairs in the Council of Economic Advisers, will be taking office in a period of elevated inflation, a weakening exchange rate and concerns over dollar shortages in the economy.
"Having considered the suitability, capacity and integrity of the nominee, and in accordance with sections 13(1) and 13C of the Central Bank Act, sections 3 and 8 of the Public Appointments Act and Standing Order 216(5), the Portfolio Committee on Finance and National Planning recommends that the National Assembly approve the nomination of Dr Kamau Thugge as Governor of the CBK," the committee said in its report.
Dr Thugge was nominated by President William Ruto from a pool of six shortlisted candidates by the Public Service Commission on April 2.
His vetting took place on May 30, during which he indicated that his main focus as governor would be to build on the momentum of consolidation in Kenya's banking sector to encourage larger and better capitalised entities in the market.
"The nominee informed the committee that if confirmed, he would ensure greater realisation of mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector as a solution to ensure efficiency and stability in the banking industry," the committee report said.
He has also signalled his intention to spearhead the issuance of a dollar-denominated bond in the local market as one of the measures to address the prevailing challenges in the foreign exchange market, which has seen the shilling come under pressure against major currencies. He believes the issuance would help mop up what he sees as excess foreign currency deposits held by Kenyans.
"The nominee noted that the depreciation of the shilling was a result of increased global inflation as well as the performance of the US economy. There was a need to consult with the banking sector to understand the apparent reasons for the hoarding of foreign currency deposits," the committee report said.
Dr Thugge is now expected to take over the governor’s office any time before June 17, when the incumbent, Dr Patrick Njoroge, is due to step down at the end of his final four-year term.