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Senate Summons Emefiele Over Exchange Rates

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Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele
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Godwin Emefiele, Governor Central Bank of Nigeria,  (CBN) has been summoned by the Senate Committee on Finance.  The committee had asked Mr. Emefiele to appear before it on Monday.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola, made this known in a statement on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media, Kayode Odunaro.

According to the statement, the apex bank governor is summoned to give both explicit and implicit explanations on the reason behind the exchange rates the bank used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund, PIDF.

The PIDF which was  funded by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, (NSIA)   was earmarked from dollar-denominated Sovereign Wealth Fund to partially fund the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Expressway, East-West Road and Mambilla Hydro Project.

The committee further noted that , the first three projects had already been funded to the tune of N163.8 billion.

“Mr Emefiele’s presence is wanted at an interactive session between the panel and the Managing Director of NSIA, Uche Orji,” the statement said.

The statement explained that Mr Orji and his management team had told the committee that the contracts for the projects were denominated in naira and that the CBN exchange rate for the disbursed fund was N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305.

Mr Orji stated that the NSIA, since operations in third quarter of 2013 with seed money of $1 billion, has invested in critical sectors like healthcare, presidential fertilizer initiative, education, real estate, international financial instruments.

He said in 2018 the federal government injected $650 million for the PIDF from which N163.8 billion has so far been disbursed for the three projects from the approved N672.4 billion earmarked.

The committee chairman demanded to see the contract documents for the projects and 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.

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