- N500bn: NECA, Experts Demand Independent CBN Audit
Financial and economic experts have demanded an independent audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria following the alleged missing of N500bn.
They made this call while speaking in exclusive interviews with our correspondents.
The Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Mr Timothy Olawale, said despite the denial of the CBN that no N500bn was missing, there was still a need for due diligence to be followed, in unravelling the controversy surrounding it.
He specifically asked relevant government security and anti-graft agencies to look into the allegation to allay the fears of Nigerians on the alleged missing money.
He said, “Despite the denial of the CBN, there is still a need for due diligence to be followed in unravelling the controversy surrounding the alleged missing of N500bn. This is necessary in order to allay the fears of Nigerians on the issue.
“The relevant security and anti-graft agencies like Criminal Investigation Department and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must be brought in to unravel whatever gave rise to such an allegation. It is only then that Nigerians will know what is really happening.”
The Registrar, Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Eohoi, said while the apex bank boss had done a lot to stimulate the economy through various intervention programmes, there was a need for an independent audit of activities under his leadership.
This, he noted, would help to ensure that proper books of account were kept under the apex bank boss.
He said, “Every allegation is subject to investigations by the security agencies based on the fact that the current administration is fighting corruption.
“This is vital to clear the air for a better Nigeria. Someone can be investigated and not found culpable. If the tape is not to blackmail the CBN governor, then it should be investigated.
“The government should set up an audit panel to check what actually transpired at the CBN. The volume of money involved is huge and should not be swept under the carpet.
“At the Institute of Finance and Control, we stand for a sound financial control system. Finance should be well controlled that it would not lead to any misappropriation.”
A developmental economist, Odilim Enwangbara, said the allegations should not be dismissed based on the fact that it was coming at a time when the appointment of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was being renewed for a second term.
He said, “Of course, the allegations should be investigated. The transaction involved should be looked into. It is not enough to say the allegation is not true. It should be looked at to determine what actually happened.
“We have got to a level in this country when we cannot continue this way.”
A former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, worried that during the tenure of a past CBN governor, there was a similar issue like that when money was reported to be missing but nothing happened after that.
He said, “When they talk about this one again, we are confused. Even though the CBN is saying that the reporter did not get the beginning of the conversation, there must be something going on. The public needs to know and if the current CBN governor wants to keep on creating confidence or wants the public to have confidence in his second term, he has to come out clearly to tell us exactly what is the issue surrounding that so that the public can also be able to make an informed decision.
“But if you are telling us that nothing like that happened and we don’t have the background information on that and people are saying that something happened, it behoves on the CBN to come out and give us the information of what has transpired for the public to stop feeling that way.
“Let them give us the beginning part of what happened because we are dealing with people’s money. It is not just denying,”
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Auwal Rafsanjani, said the purported confession by Emefiele that money was missing showed that many officials working in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari did not share his anti-corruption drive.
Rafsanjani said, “I am not surprised, given the nature and character of this administration, which some of its personnel have been exhibiting. They act in a way that shows they don’t believe in the government that is fighting corruption.
“These kinds of leaks are not new. Audio bearing the voice of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, also leaked some time ago. It is because there is a disconnect between the officials on the one hand and the nation and the administration they represent.
“It is the same with the National Assembly leadership and the issue is that even when they are found wanting, they will never resign because, for them, it is not about service.”
He said the CBN governor could be given the benefit of the doubt since he had claimed that the audio misrepresented facts.
Rafsanjani, however, said if it was true that N500bn was missing, then the National Assembly and other bodies in charge of oversight had failed in their jobs.
The CBN on Sunday night said that contrary to claims in some quarters, there was no money missing or stolen from the apex bank.
The bank said this in a statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor.
The statement said contrary to the narrative that the discussion was about a fraudulent transaction, the beginning of the conversation was omitted to create a different impression to a misunderstanding that affected the bank’s balance sheet.
IMF to Review Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Amid Destruction of Businesses, Properties
IMF Says it May Review Nigeria’s Growth Amid Recent Development in the Country
Following the destruction of businesses and properties that trailed the #EndSARS protest, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it may review the nation’s growth forecast in view of the new development in the country.
Abebe Selassie, the Director, African Department, International Monetary Fund, made the statement while responding to questions during a virtual IMF press conference on the economic outlook of Sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday.
According to him, the protest is difficult given that Lagos is a very important economic hub and contributes to the overall Nigeria activities.
Selassie said, “On the growth projections in Nigeria, I mean, these protests happened of course, after we had closed, after the period where the data we looked at in making the growth projections for this economic outlook.
“And much will depend really on how these protests evolve.
“Lagos of course, is a very important economic hub and contributes quite a bit of economic activity to overall Nigeria activities.
“So, if these persist and are showing significant effects on economic data, we will internalise them in due course.”
He further explained that the nation’s economy had been a difficult one in the last four years ever since oil prices plunged in 2015-16.
He said, “I think this is exactly why we have been on the record in Nigeria about how really critical it is to get all of the policy induced barriers out of the way to facilitate stronger economic growth.
“For the government to do more to raise revenues through the area of non-oil resources to be able to invest in health education which would, you know, allow people to be more successful at getting jobs but also improve the economy’s potential.
“So, I think that development agenda that Nigeria has, I think, has to be tackled with gusto and vigor so that the millions of jobs that the country needs can be created.”
Oil Marketers Lose Millions as Hoodlums Set Petrol Tankers on Fire
Oil Tankers Burnt by Hoodlums as Marketers Lose Millions to Protest
Oil marketers lost millions of Naira to repeated attacks by hoodlums exploiting the #EndSARS protest.
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria on Thursday said hoodlums have been attacking their trucks since they hijacked the protest earlier in the week.
The association said three petrol laden trucks were burnt again on Thursday in Warri, Delta State.
This came as the Board of Trustees of the Oil and Solid Mineral Producing Area Landlords Association of Nigerian urged protesters across the country to sheathe their swords as the destruction of oil assets and others had become alarming.
Chief Chinedu Ukadike, the Public Relations Officer, IPMAN, who spoke in Abuja said three petrol tankers with petroleum products estimated at about N90 million were set on fire on Thursday.
He said, “The protesters are burning our petrol trucks as we speak right now in Warri. They are burning three trucks. The cost or value of the content in those trucks is about N90m.
“That is outside the worth of the trucks that are being burnt. This is why we asked our tanker drivers to park or temporarily halt the movement of products.”
Ukadike said the association decided to halt the movement of petroleum products on Wednesday to avert a further disaster that could arise attack of oil tankers by angry protesters.
“That advise on the temporary halt of tankers movement was vital, particularly for volatile locations where protesters are highly aggressive. So that is what is happening now in Warri, the petrol trucks of oil marketers are being burnt,” he stated on Thursday.
LCCI Says FG Loses N700bn to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days
Nigeria Loses Over N700 Billion to #EndSARS Protest in 12 Days
The Federal Government lost over N700 billion to the #EndSARS protest in twelve days, according to the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, the President, LCCI, disclosed this while reviewing the economic implications of the just ended #EndSARS protest.
Mabogunje, who appreciated the value of citizens engagement and the demand for accountability which the protest represents, lamented the negative effect on the nation’s economy.
She said, “These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.
“LCCI is however concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country.
“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.
“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated seven hundred billion naira (N700 billion) loss in the past twelve days.”
She further said the protest has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in the nation’s political governance, however added that to protect livelihoods of Nigerians, including business community, the protesters need to move to next stage of civic engagement.
“This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways. These actions have been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens. It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of the Covid 19 Pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects,” she added.
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