Naira notes bribery: ‘Only CBN can award contract’

The Central Bank of Nigeria is the only financial institution in the country that can award contract for the printing of the country’s currency, Daily Trust reports. Former CBN Governor Chukwuma Soludo was quoted yesterday by a local newspaper as saying that CBN only placed an order with the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited Plc, and that CBN could not have been involved in the bribery of Nigerian officials by the Australian printing company, The Securency.

Read also Prof Soludo implicated in the Securency bribery scandal

The Age newspaper of Australia last week revealed that Mr Harding and another British-based businessman, Benoy Berry, were paid several million dollars by Securency to market the company’s polymer notes in Africa and to win a currency printing deal in Nigeria.

The current CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the National Assembly had said they were prepared to launch an investigation into the bribery saga. The central bank of Australia is also facing calls for a Senate inquiry into the cash-for-contracts scandal. But a source told Daily Trust that it is only the central bank that could have awarded the contract for the printing of the polymer notes because the CBN has majority stake of 77 per cent in Nigeria’s Mint. The source said G&B of Germany, however, printed the new polymer notes of N5, N10 and N50.

Read also Prof Soludo implicated in the Securency bribery scandal