Politics

SERAP calls for CBN gov account for lacking N100bn soiled notes, others

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Olayemi Cardoso, “to account for and explain the whereabouts of the over N100 billion ‘dirty and bad notes’ and ‘other large sum of cash awaiting examination’ which are kept in various branches of the CBN.”

In a letter dated June 29, 2024, and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP stated the allegations are documented within the newest annual report just lately printed by the Auditor-General of the Federation.

The organisation stated these allegations by the Auditor-General counsel grave violations of public belief, the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the CBN Act, and nationwide and worldwide anti-corruption obligations.

SERAP additionally requested Cardoso to “explain the whereabouts of the N7.2 billion budgeted for the construction of the CBN Dutse branch in 2010 and the N4.8 billion budgeted for the renovation of the CBN Abeokuta branch in 2009, and to publish the names of the contractors who collected the money but failed to complete the projects.”

SERAP urged the CBN boss “to explain the whereabouts of the allegedly missing outstanding loan of N1.2 billion granted to the Enugu State Government in 2015 and the outstanding loan of N1.9 billion granted to the Anambra State Government between 2015 and 2016 and to fully recover and remit the public funds to the treasury.”

It additionally requested him “to refer these grave violations of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), the CBN Act and the country’s national and international anti-corruption obligations to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for investigation and prosecution, as appropriate, and the recovery of the public funds.”

The letter learn partially, “We could be grateful if the really helpful measures are taken inside seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we’ve not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all applicable authorized actions to compel you and the CBN to adjust to our request within the public curiosity.

“Explaining the whereabouts of the lacking public funds, publishing the names of these suspected to be accountable and making certain that they’re delivered to justice and the complete restoration of any lacking public funds would serve the general public curiosity and finish the impunity of perpetrators.

“According to the just lately printed 2020 audited report by the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has since 2017 been protecting over N100 billion ‘dirty and bad notes’, and different massive sums of money awaiting examination in varied branches of the CBN.

“The Auditor-General fears that the ‘dirty and bad notes’ initially deliberate to be destroyed might have been ‘diverted and re-injected into the economy.’

“The CBN in August 2010 additionally reportedly budgeted N7.2 billion [N7,286,500,476.76] for the development of the Dutse department constructing. The Dutse department was attributable to be accomplished in November 2012 however the contractors have failed to finish the challenge.

“The Auditor-General is worried that the challenge might have been ‘awarded to an incompetent contractor,’ and needs the ‘job completed without further delay.’

“The CBN in 2009 reportedly budgeted N4.8 billion [N4,812,608,028.10] for the renovation of the CBN Abeokuta department. The Abeokuta department was attributable to be accomplished in 2012 however the contractors have failed to finish the challenge.

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“There is no significant renovation work on the site, several years after the proposed completion date. The Auditor-General is concerned that the project may have been ‘awarded to an incompetent contractor,’ and wants the ‘job completed without further delay.’”

SERAP stated these violations additionally replicate a failure of CBN accountability extra usually and are immediately linked to the establishment’s persistent failure to adjust to its Act and to uphold the rules of transparency and accountability.”

It added, “The CBN additionally reportedly didn’t account for the lacking excellent mortgage of N1.2 billion granted to the Enugu State Government in 2015 and the excellent mortgage of N1.9 billion granted to the Anambra State Government between 2015 and 2016. The Auditor-General fears the general public funds might have been diverted. He desires the cash totally recovered and remitted to the treasury.

“Paragraph 708 of the Financial Regulations 2009 offers that, ‘on no account should payment be made for services not yet performed or for goods not yet supplied.’

“Section 35(2) of the Public Procurement Act 2007 offers that, ‘as soon as a mobilization price has been paid to any provider or contractor, no additional fee shall be made to the provider or contractor with out an interim efficiency certificates.

“Section 16(6) of the Public Procurement Act states that ‘all bidders shall possess the necessary professional and technical qualifications to carry out particular procurements; the financial capacity and adequate personnel to perform the obligations of the procurement contracts.’”

SERAP asserted that these alleged violations have severely undermined the power of the CBN to successfully discharge its statutory capabilities and the general public belief and confidence within the financial institution.

According to the organisation, the apex financial institution must be dedicated to transparency and accountability in its operations.

It added, “SERAP notes that Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution requires public institutions to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” Section 13 of the Constitution imposes a transparent duty on the CBN to evolve to, observe and apply the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

“Paragraph 3112(ii) of the Financial Regulations 2009 offers that, “Where a public officer fails to account for presidency income, such officer shall be surcharged for the complete quantity concerned and such officer shall be handed over to both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“Nigeria has made legally binding commitments underneath the UN Convention towards Corruption to make sure accountability within the administration of public sources. Articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention towards Corruption additionally impose authorized obligations on the CBN to make sure correct administration of public affairs and public funds.

“Nigerians have the precise to know the whereabouts of the general public funds. Taking the really helpful measures would advance the precise of Nigerians to restitution, compensation and assure of non-repetition.

“The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their public institutions’ activities.”

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