CBN, Banks Looting Nigerians Silly To Feed Cabal: Emefiele Gets Senate To Remove Cameras For Public Not To Know His Corrupt Tales

Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

The  Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, finally appeared before the Senate Committee on Finance on Tuesday, but demanded to answer questions in camera.

His  deputy, Mr Adebisi Shonubi, was on Monday  prevented from addressing the Senate panel.

Emefiele was summoned by the committee over the issue of exchange rate for funding key projects.

The committee headed  by   Solomon Adeola had rejected Shonubi  on the grounds that he  was not  the one  invited by them, but his boss.

The panel also blamed Emefiele for not  informing  them  earlier that he would be sending a representative.

The CBN governor was therefore asked to appear before the panel on Tuesday   at  2pm.

CBN governor Godwin Emefiele

On  Emefiele’s arrival, Adeola  demanded to know why he failed to honour their invitation  without cogent reasons.

Adeola said, “Long before now,  we had expected that we would have you around, especially on the issue of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper which the Federal Government budget is predicated upon.

“The issue we look forward to hearing from you today is the one that borders on stamp duty.

“We also want to know what should be our expectations in this year’s budget and how the revenue from stamp duty could work for us in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

“We also want you to brief on the profile of Nigeria as a country in terms of monetary policies as it affects the economy of the country.”

Emefiele in his response, apologised for his inability to honour the invitation, stressing that it was not done to disrespect the Senate.

He also told the panel that the Act establishing  the CBN  had given  it power to regulate monetary policy  including interest rates and exchange rates.

He said, “I apologise for my absence from the committee’s sitting yesterday (Monday),  I was unfortunately held down in another assignment  where I was with the Vice-President.”

He added,  “Due to the fact that the stamp duty matter and other related matters are currently at the High Court, I would like to crave your kind indulgence to permit us to speak in  camera.”

Adeola granted the request of the CBN Governor and the meeting ended behind closed doors.

The  committee  had summoned Emefiele  to appear before  them to give reasons for  the exchange rate the CBN used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.

The PIDF was earmarked from dollar denominated Sovereign Wealth Fund to partly fund the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge,  Abuja–Kano Expressway, East-West Road and  the Mambilla Hydro Project.

The first three projects had already been funded to the tune of N163.8bn.

The panel demanded the appearance of the CBN governor during an interactive session between the panel and  the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority,  Uche Orji.

Orji and his management team had told the committee that the contracts for the projects were denominated in naira and that the CBN exchange rate for the disbursed fund was N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305.

Copyright PUNCH.