The subject of the memoir, in this column, last week, turned into as soon as the $7bn which Festus Odoko, a outmoded Central Bank of Nigeria Corporate Affairs Director, confirmed had been deposited with 14 Nigerian banks in October 2006. It is no longer determined what number of banks, in actuality, succeeded in raising the vital capital defective of N25bn, and the additional N35bn steep threshold, required to abet watch over allotment of Nigeria’s foreign reserves. Then again, on hindsight, the CBN could want quietly dropped this clearly fearless requirement so as to pursue its declared agenda.
Regrettably, without reference to several promptings in repeat publications of the above title by this author since 2006, the CBN administration remained inexplicably, and taciturn to any ask to confirm the feature of the $7bn positioned with Nigerian banks, without collateral, fairness participation or profitable return after 13 years!
Not too prolonged within the past, on the other hand, the Chairman of the Special Presidential Panel for Restoration of Public Property, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, famed in a NAN file, in Abuja, on September 7, 2018, that these banks haven’t any longer repaid the $7bn to govt’s treasury “after 13 years.” Curiously, basically basically basically based on him, “after we enquired from the CBN the command of that money, the banks told us that the money turned into as soon as ‘dashed’ to them.”
Consequently, upon the presidential panel’s ask, the Economic Monetary Crimes Commission eventually invited Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, a outmoded CBN Deputy Governor, to clarify the controversial $7bn ‘reward’ to banks, when Chukwuma Soludo turned into as soon as the CBN Governor in 2006. It is a memoir of how hapless Nigerians can even have been insensitively betrayed when the CBN dashed $7bn of scarce foreign replace to 14 banks, even when the apex monetary institution and the identical govt have been already neck deep in debt to these bankers.”
Below is Mailafia’s testimony, which turned into as soon as published in BusinessDay edition of 24/1/2019. Please learn on.
“On ask from the Federal Government of Nigeria, I turned into as soon as seconded from the African Pattern Bank Crew as Deputy Governor of the CBN in Would possibly maybe 2005. I left a highly paid and pensionable put up as Chief Economist, Planning and Budgeting, to abet on the CBN at a noteworthy decrease salary. I in actuality have repeatedly believed that serving one’s country is without doubt one of many noblest duties somebody also will seemingly be called upon to construct.
In early October of 2006, the then Governor of the CBN, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, brought a proposal to the Board to the originate that he wished 14 of our industrial banks to construct up allotment within the administration of our exterior reserves in partnership with foreign banking pals. He explained that it turned into as soon as rather unfair that easiest exterior custodians such as J. P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and others have been having a piece of the action. On the time, we have been feeling rather triumphal. The banking reforms had been a success. We had managed to attain a take care of the Paris Membership of world creditors. The financial system turned into as soon as booming. Our foreign reserves had grown from a lowly US$10bn in 2004 to a fearless US$38bn in 2006… We had correct launched the FSS2020 mission which aimed to construct our country as the monetary hub of the continent by 2020.
As I secure, there turned into as soon as a piquant debate on the subject. On the face of it, it gave the influence a proper conception to permit our banks to have skills of managing our exterior reserves as a capability of socialisation into the advanced world of industrial engineering and world monetary markets. I had a modicum of doubt, however, alas, could no longer issue it. The professor turned into as soon as a Mister Know-All with an ego of the Enlighten of Lucifer. The Curse of Mephistopheles.
Furthermore, he repeatedly brandished his closeness with Aso Villa to neutralise any dissent. There turned into as soon as a whispering marketing campaign about me being ‘the sunless sheep’ that could maybe no longer play ball…
On the end of the day, the majority carried the day virtually local participation in foreign reserves administration. I must emphasise, for the avoidance of doubt, that at no stage did somebody gain even the remotest influence that it turned into as soon as supposed to be a loan, bailout or forbearance.
For sure, it could maybe be one other subject totally if the banks, as an afterthought, after more than a decade, would now rob to present a undeniable interpretation to that monetary deal. This desires to be confirmed from the archival data of the CBN. The banks had a mandate as fund managers of the US$7bn that turned into as soon as disbursed to them; of which main and pastime have been to be returned contained within the agreed tenor. However I turned into as soon as no longer conscious of these crucial facets.
On March 26, 2007, while busy at my desk within the early afternoon, news came on national radio that I had ceased to be the deputy governor and had been moved to the Presidency to a 419 build as Special Adviser to the President on Political Economic system. I resigned myself to the necessity of God. I had worked by myself within the office up to lifeless evening of December 31, struggling to meet the IMF liquidity targets space for us below the Special Make stronger Instrument. Unfortunately, my colleagues deliberately sabotaged me. That can have explained my unceremonious departure. I later received to know that the leisurely President Umaru Yar’Adua, having studied my dossier, had urged that I be reinstated straight. Unfortunately, that identical week, he went into coma, never to increase. His presidential directive turned into as soon as never obeyed.
I mention these events in expose to indicate that, from October 2006 when the reserves have been allocated to 14 banks, up to the time I left in March 2007, turned into as soon as easiest rather over five months. The Directorate for Economic Policy which I headed is one of the best feature of any central monetary institution, however it is miles the one Directorate where we construct no longer take care of money. We work with computable items for monetary protection while enterprise study and statistical-analytical work to drive financial style.
I turned into as soon as therefore tremendously surprised when, two weeks within the past, a chum within the safety products and companies despatched me a round emanating from the Villa in which my name had been included on a listing of 30 of us slammed with a commute ban below Government Enlighten No. 6. Dated 11, December 2018. I managed to mark their office to a sprawling nondescript building within the outskirts of Asokoro. There, I met a squadron of investigators who gleefully welcomed me as a fresh captive. I turned into as soon as detained for questioning for the total day and had to maintain wads upon wads of paper a pair of “lacking US$7 billion dollars” at some level of my time on the CBN…’
With out prejudice to the ongoing investigations, my build is that whatever monies that have been given to banks to be managed on behalf of the CBN, ought to be returned with main and pastime. I think responsibility (sure) to half with the panel all that I learn about this case. However I’ll first confirm my appropriate rights to be handled above board as a gaze rather than suspect.
The style I in actuality have been handled to this level evokes bitter recollections. My time on the CBN turned into as soon as one of many worst in my whole knowledgeable occupation. I turned into as soon as to search out easiest after I left that my espresso turned into as soon as doused with poison on on the least three utterly different events.
I in actuality have spent most of my knowledgeable lifestyles delivery air Nigeria. I in actuality have loved honours and privileges. My most philosophize job turned into as soon as as Chief of Staff of the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific Crew of States in Brussels. I coordinated more than Є50 billion of favor and funding funds. All the plot in which by my sojourn in another country, I had no police file for a website website visitors offence, let by myself monetary fraud. It is a shame that I would also be handled with such humiliation in my possess fatherland. My family has paid a heavy mark.”
COMMENT:After all, on the other hand, even supposing there could be no criminality within the $7bn reward to banks, there is clearly a proper case, if refund is no longer seemingly, for changing the $7bn, plus compounded pastime, to essential fairness within the respective banks.
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