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CBN Governor Emefiele shuns Senate invitation

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The Senate Committee on Finance has expressed disaffection over the absence of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele at its budget defence sitting on Monday.

The Committee, which has Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) as chairman, has invited the CBN Governor to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the exchange rates it used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund(PIDF) being funded to the tune of billions of naira by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority(NSIA) across the country.

The invitation was sequel to revelations made by Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji and his management team where Orji disclosed to the committee that the contracts for the projects were denominated in naira and CBN exchange rate for the disbursed fund was N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305.

Findings revealed that 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 with the first three projects already funded to the tune of N163.8 billion.

While summoning Mr Emefiele, last Friday, Senator Adeola said: “This committee will like to see the contract documents for these 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. We are not indicting NSIA or conducting an investigation or probe of CBN but we like to know the reason why this different rate was used.”

At the Senate session, the Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Uche Orji came with his team but the CBN Governor was represented by his Deputy, Sonubi Folashodun.

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