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Reps investigate non-refund of $7bn foreign reserves by 14 banks, asset managers

Banking sector

House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Banking and Currency to investigate the details of the $7 billion Nigeria’s foreign reserves disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to 14 banks and global assets managers, and their continued non-repayment of same 13 years after disbursement.

The Committee is also mandated 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.

This resolution was reached on Thursday during plenary, following adoption of a motion on: “Need to Investigate the Non-Repayment of $7 Billion USD from Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Disbursed to 14 Global Asset Managers and 14 Nigerian Banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria Since 2006,” sponsored by Abubakar Ahmad (APC, Gombe).

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Presenting the motion, Ahmad said the House noted that sometime in 2006, the CBN disbursed $7 billion of Nigeria’s $38.07 billion foreign reserves to 14 Global Asset Managers and their 14 Nigerian Banks local partners to manage.

According to Ahmad, the House is aware that the CBN gave each Asset Manager and its Nigerian bank counterpart $500 million from the nation’s foreign reserves to manage.

He noted that, the House was “concerned that of 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 Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)”.

He added that the House was “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.”

The lawmaker further maintained that the House was “worried that after13 years, Nigeria’s hard earned $7 billion foreign reserves has not been repaid to the CBN and there is no action put in place to ensure repayment of the funds.”

The motion was unanimously adopted when put to voice vote by the deputy speaker, Idris Wase, who presided over the plenary and referred to the House Committee on Banking and Currency.