By Nwafor Sunday
Report from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has revealed that two global giant banks, HSBC and UBS have closed their respective offices and shut down operations in Nigeria.
The reason for the decision was not given but the apex bank had revealed that foreign direct investment in Nigeria fell to N379.84 billion in the first six months of 2018, compared to N532.63 billion recorded in 2017.
Recall that UBS opened its doors in Nigeria in mid-2014 to connect prospective clients with its offshore centers in Switzerland, the UK, Dubai and Singapore, where dedicated client advisers offer personalised service and full access to the bank’s vast global resources.
CBN according to PremiumTimes equally revealed that the rising foreign debt and uncertainty surrounding the 2019 presidential election was a drawback.
Reuters reports that investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy has been shaken since the CBN got entangled in an alleged illegal repatriation of funds battle with telecom giant, MTN Nigeria.
Recall also that HSBC had predicted doom for the Nigerian economy should President Muhammadu Buhari wins in the forthcoming 2019 general election.
However, following its prediction, presidency through the minister of Information and culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, replied the global giant bank as follows:
“We have all read that the Intelligence Unit of the Economist said the PDP will defeat the ruling APC in 2019.
“We have also read that the international financial institution, HSBC, said Nigeria’s economic development will be stunted if President Buhari gets a second term.
“Let me state clearly that these reports are based on fake premises and, therefore, qualify as fake news. “It is a psychological warfare by those who have been badly hit by our policies”.
The minister explained: “Our fight against corruption has meant that many financial institutions, especially banks, that fed fat on the proceeds of corruption are no longer able to do that.
“Also, international publications that used to feed fat on questionable supplements paid for by the Federal Government have seen a drastic reduction in such patronage, as the Administration cuts down on frivolous spending that was the order of the day in the past.
“Therefore, it is natural that these institutions and publications would not wish to see another term for this Administration.
“The truth, however, is that only the good people of Nigeria will determine who presides over the affairs of the country, not any bank or media establishment, irrespective of their influence or self importance”
We won’t rest until HSBC returns our money – EFCC
In view of the above reply, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a statement disclosed via the agencies official facebook handle, opined that it would not stop until every penny belonging to the country is returned.