January 31, 2016

I control over N200 bn but can’t build a house, CBN director laments

By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – A director with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabiru Nuhu-Koko,has attributed the slow pace of the country’s economic growth to unwillingness of Nigerians to dump selfish desires for national interest.

This came as he regretted that a large number of Nigerians were splashing huge sums of money on the Ghanaian economy, in their bid to seek western knowledge at the detriment of the growth of their country.

Nuhu-Koko, who said until there was a drastic change of attitudes, the country’s quest to find itself among the top 20 economies of the world remain a mere dream, said discipline instilled on him by the nation’s apex bank had made him not to live outside his income.

He spoke, yesterday, in Abuja, at the occasion of Sir Alhaji Ahmadu Bello Sardauna Platinum Leadership Award, conferred on him by a group under the aegis of Northern Youth Network, NYN.

Alhaji Nuhu-Koko, who is the Head, Project Planning and Implementation Division of the CBN, said he was in control of over N200 billion in his departmental budget but can’t boast of not only N20 million in his account but also a house of his own.

The development, he disclosed, was due to his belief that only patriotism can take the country to its desired destination, and charged Nigerians to think of the interest of their country first in all their dealings.

“As you see me here, I supervise projects over N200 billion but I don’t have N20 million on my own apart from the house that government sold to me and another one in Lugbe that the bank bought and sold to staff which they are deducting from source.

“I don’t have any property in Abuja here. In fact, there was a time my budget was N200 billion but I cannot pass through here and you see a billionaire, not at all.

“That shows you the discipline we have in that system. So, we have set standard that if that standard would be a doubted across board, Nigeria will go places, “he said.

He charged Nigerians to think of investing home rather than outside the shores of the country, according to him, such development would create wealth for the nation.

Addressing the northern youths, he said:” Nigerians are spending billions of naira in training their children outside this country. In Ghana alone, the amount of money Nigerians spend in training their children is more than the budget of the National Universities Commission, NUC.

”All the budget of NUC is for the Nigerian universities. Now, the budget of NUC is not up to the amount Nigerians spend in training their children in Ghana.

”I am telling you this story as youths so that if you find yourselves in position one day, you can change things.”

While responding for request of the president of the organization, Comrade Mike Msuaah, that he should use his position t influence the bank to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram, in the North East part of the country, he said the Governor of CBN, had since dispatched a team of people to meet the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA ,to discuss areas of intervention.

“Concerning the IDPs, I am proud to inform you that the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria has sent teams to go round the IDPs, to go to NEMA, to ask for their needs so as to intervene and very soon, you will see the result from the CBN, “he said.

He enjoined the youths to work assiduously for the continuous peace and unity of the country, saying they must stand against any force that seek to divide the country.

Earlier, President, Northern Youth Network, Mike Msuaah, said the award on Alhaji Nuhu-Koko, was due to his undying passion for Nigeria,financial transparency,youth development and societal transformation of the country.