SWITZERLAND, MAY 16 – The Senate has confirmed Godwin Emefiele’s reappointment as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a second term of five years, amidst controversy surrounding a claim that he is being blackmailed.
Emefiele’s confirmation followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions presented by Senator Rafiu Adebayo during Thursday’s plenary.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, urged the CBN governor to use his second term to improve Nigeria’s economy.
He said, “On behalf of the Senate, let me congratulate the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele on the renewal of his appointment.”
“We wish him a useful tenure and may he use this opportunity to continue to provide support to ensure that the economy of our country continues to improve and address the important area of ensuring micro-economic stability,” Senator Saraki added.
President Muhammadu Buhari reappointed Emefiele and sent a letter to Senate for his confirmation on May 9.
Subsequently, the CBN accused one George Uboh of attempting to blackmail him. Uboh had gone to court to stop the Senate confirmation of Emefiele, over some undisclosed allegations.
According to media sources, George Udoh is reportedly a fraudster, drug trafficker, and an ex-convict who runs a tainted company called Panic Alert Security System (PASS), which he allegedly uses to harass, extorts and blackmail people of influence in the society.
Recall that Today’s Echo had in an exclusive report, asked the question;what is Emefiele being blackmailed for ?
One of the issues that threatened Emefiele’s confirmation was the release of an audio last weekend, in which Emefiele and other senior CBN officials are discussing the potential consequences of a loss of N500 billion which they had invested in a private business that ran aground.
The Apex bank has however, released a statement, asserting that no money is stolen or missing in the Central Bank. The statement, signed by CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, agued that, although the tape is authentic, the media outfits are interpreting the content out of context.
According to the CBN, the bank provided about N650 billion in loans at nine per cent, with a two-year grace period to 35 states of the federation. These monies were distributed to the states monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the presidency.
However, in closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft Account, erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund. The selective conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolving it. Obviously, it soon became clear that a State Government loan cannot be classified as “bad” or “irrecoverable” when the State still exists and getting FAAC allocations.