Senate turns back Emefiele’s representatives

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Senate Committee on Finance on Monday rejected the representatives of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, who appeared before it.

The panel had summoned Mr Emefiele to give detailed explanations on the rationale behind the exchange rates the CBN used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).

The projects are being funded by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

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 Mambilla Hydro Project.

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

However, it was the CBN’s Deputy Governor, Adebisi Shonubi, who appeared before the committee in place of the governor.

The Committee, led by its Chairman, Solomon Adeola, prevented Mr Shonubi from addressing it.

The panel asked him to leave with his team because “the invitation was not meant for him.”

Mr Emefiele was again asked to appear before the panel on Thursday.

Earlier, the committee chairman demanded to see the contract documents for the projects.

He also wanted to know why the exchange rate for the dollar to naira was at N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305 in a government to government transaction for these key infrastructure projects.

While the lawmaker commended the NSIA for what it has done so far in terms of funding healthcare, education, infrastructure and investment in fertiliser production, he, however, called for caution in disbursement.

He sought more investment in diverse areas to grow the $1.5 billion Sovereign Wealth for its contributors like the federal government, state governments, local governments and the FCT to reap the benefits of its establishment.

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