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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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Nigeria’s Debt Creation Office!

Our public institutions have now become so adept at soothing our anxieties and our pains while they are busy deliberately inflicting untold hardship on our people. For example, the availability of public power supply has remained illusory in spite of trillions of naira voted for this sector over the years, but our leaders continue to proclaim their ‘sincere’ commitment and endlessly encourage us to be patient!

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EXTERNAL DEBT: AT WHAT COST?

“On the domestic front, we also recall the rapid accumulation of local debts particularly through bond issuance by almost N2000bn within four years, without recourse for NASS approval. There is practically nothing to show for these loans, and it seems that these loans were incurred specifically for non-tangible purposes with dubious and immeasurable yardsticks!

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A salad bowl of intellectual garbage (7)

Humanity is still intimidated by fears it inherited from prehistoric humans, as well as fears that are products of the technological advancement of civilization, including the fear of nuclear annihilation. Collective fear engenders herd instinct, and tends to encourage aggressively towards strangers. As I suggested a moment ago, fear stimulates cruel impulses, and hence promotes superstitious beliefs which appear to justify cruelty.

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