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House of Reps probe central bank’s $7 billion to banks from foreign reserve

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The House of Representatives has begun investigation of the non-refund of $7bn withdrawn from Nigeria’s foreign reserves by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2006 to pay banks and assets managers, which have since not been refunded.

The House mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate “the details of the disbursed funds by the CBN to the banks and the continued non-repayment of same 13 years after disbursement.”

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The committee is also to determine “the terms and conditions of the disbursement to ascertain if the terms and conditions have been complied with as it relates to repayment of the fund, and report back within eight weeks for further legislative action.”

The move followed the unanimous adoption at the plenary on Thursday, of a motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Non-Repayment of $7bn from Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Disbursed to 14 Global Asset Managers and 14 Nigerian Banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria Since 2006.

A member, Mr Abubakar Ahmad, who moved the motion recalled that sometime in 2006, the CBN disbursed $7bn of Nigeria’s $38.07bn foreign reserves to 14 Global Asset Managers and their 14 Nigerian banks local partners to manage.

The lawmaker said, “The House is aware that the CBN gave each asset manager and its Nigerian bank counterpart $500m from the nation’s foreign reserves to manage. The 14 Nigerian banks that received the said funds, about six of them, namely Oceanic Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Bank PHB, FIN Bank, AfriBank, and very recently Diamond Bank Plc were merged/acquired by other banks under the oversight of the CBN.

“The House is again aware that the assets and liabilities of the six merged/acquired banks have been legally acquired as part of the legacies of the defunct banks. After 13 years, Nigeria’s hard-earned $7bn foreign reserve has not been repaid to the CBN and there is no action put in place to ensure repayment of the funds.”

Source: PUNCH

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