How CBN Worsen Nigeria’s Economic Challenges

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CBN Emefiole

The role played by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in the current financial crisis bedevilling the country is becoming clearer, as the apex bank literally opened its doors wide and gave the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, unfettered access to draw money at will, TheCable, an online newspaper has reported.

Several members, including top shots, of the immediate past government are explaining to investigators their roles in how hundreds of billions of naira meant for arms procurement were squandered.

Top on the list is Sambo Dasuki, the former security adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan.

Since July, Dasuki has been shuttling between the court, Department of States Security, DSS, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and his Abuja residence, where he was placed under house arrest by the DSS.

Others include media mogul Raymond Dokpesi, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and his son Sagir, former minister of defence, Bello Haliru, former director of finance and administration in the NSA’s office, Shuaibu Salisu, etc.

However, the CBN has been accused of disbursing huge sums of money on the order of the former president.

TheCable had earlier in the week revealed that Dasuki collected N60 billion from the CBN in addition to more than $2 billion collected from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

However, according to TheCable’s latest revelation, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, practically singlehandedly doled out N60 billion to the NSA’s office under the guise of a special fund for security, against the advice of some members of the bank’s board.

Citing some documents, the newspaper said Dasuki would write the CBN requesting that the money be paid in foreign currency equivalent, usually in batches of N10 billion.

“What the CBN did was to create an intervention fund, which it is empowered to do by the CBN Act. That is why we have aviation intervention fund, agriculture intervention fund, all sorts, which are now being abused to take money out of the system,” it quoted a source.

“If the money was given to the NSA in naira, this would be a case of the CBN printing money for the government and adding to pressure on prices and exchange rates. I was told a lot of this happened in many instances and did a lot of damage to the economy,” a former minister reportedly told the newspaper.

According to sources, who spoke to TheCable, the money was directly drawn from the banks vault possibly to avoid any paper or electronic trail.

“Money was just moved directly like it happened under Gen. Sani Abacha when large amounts were taken out of the CBN under the guise of financing ECOMOG, the West African peace-keeping force. We know where the bulk ended up,” a source told the newspaper.

The CBN is also accused of funding the PDP’s presidential bid by releasing money to government agencies.

The National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the NNPC allegedly requested the CBN to pay about $300 million to the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, a move that allegedly left the bank without dollars to meet its needs.

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