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Abike Dabiri’s heretical Bill

Before this Bill became public knowledge, Dabiri-Erewa had been one of the federal legislators who always stood on the right side of every issue or controversy, be it the Ettehgate, the Freedom of Information Bill or the Diaspora issues. In fact, only last Monday, a young man from my hometown who is languishing in a Benin Republic prison on drug offences, called me requesting that the plight of people like him should be brought to the notice of Hon Dabiri.

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‘WETIN’ CONCERN NLC/TUC WITH FOREX MARKET? (2)

Currently, the CBN is annually responsible for about 70% of all dollar revenue that enters into the domestic forex market. The balance 30% or less is supplied by oil companies and a few exporters outside the oil sector! While these private dollar suppliers are legally permitted to approach the banks directly for the exchange of their dollars to naira, the owners of public sector dollar revenue in our reserves are not so lucky!

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CBN, FOREIGN RESERVES AND THE ECONOMY

In last week’s article, “Dollar Reserves: Who Owns What?” we endeavoured to lift the shroud over the amorphous concept of Nigeria’s foreign reserves. Incidentally, the Senate has lately in consonance with our position, also frowned at the illegality of the component of the reserves defined as excess crude account! (See Daily Independent headline of 23/10/2009, “Sharing of $2bn Excess Crude Fund Illegal – Senate”).

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Dollar Reserves: Who Owns What?

At the peak of the crude oil price boom in 2007, this commodity sold for as high as $150/barrel on the international market and Nigeria fortuitously garnered her highest ever external reserves of over $60bn. This figure would have exceeded $72bn, but for the ‘illegal’ withdrawal of about $13bn to exit the controversial Paris and London Club debts just over three years ago!

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The Putrid Mess also in CBN (3)

The object of the earlier articles in this series is to show that the Central Bank’s (CBN) condemnation and indictment of banks is as hypocritical as the proverbial ‘pot calling the kettle black’! Indeed, the CBN’s posturing assumes an immoral colouration, because in reality, the malaise in the banks was actually instigated by the failure of the apex bank to effectively perform its secondary role as the official regulator and supervisor of the money market.

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The putrid mess also in CBN!

Media reports indicated that such auditors were indeed deployed to the banks late in 2008, shortly before expiration of Soludo’s five-year term; however, it would seem that these auditors failed woefully in alerting the nation of the inebriate state of the banks! Indeed, possibly based on the incorrect reports filed back, or in spite of the ugly reality, the former CBN Governor boasted that Nigerian banks were stronger than ever and could readily support the government if the effects of the global recession approached our shores!

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Banks and Money Laundering (1)

In the event that no charge has been formally brought against the Governor pending the conclusion of police investigations, it may not be appropriate to begin to pass judgment on the violation of any criminal or ethical codes by the currently beleaguered Governor who has nonetheless been restrained to London until a date in November, in spite of the diplomatic immunity he would normally enjoy as an accredited public servant of his country.

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