Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, under the governorship of Charles Soludo, was alleged to have disbursed soft loans of seven million dollars to 14 global asset managers and their local Nigerian counterparts in 2006. The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate the cash disbursements taken out of the country’s, then, N38.07 billion external reserve. The petitioners claimed that $500 million given each of the banks to manage.
“On October 4th 2006, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), through its Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Festus Odoko had disclosed that the CBN had apportioned $7billion out of the nation’s external reserves, which stood at $38.07 billion, as at the end of July, 2006, to 14 global asset managers and their 14 Nigerian banks local partners, to manage. The amount reportedly bequeathed to the asset managers represented 18.39 per cent of the total external reserves and was hitherto kept with foreign banks”, the CSNAC stated.
The coalition listed the banks were the ” Black Rock and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc; J.P. Morgan Chase and Zenith Bank Plc; H.S.B.C and; First Bank of Nigeria Plc; BNP Paribas and Intercontinental Bank Plc; UBS and United Bank for Africa Plc; Credit Suisse and IBTC Chartered Bank Plc; Morgan Stanley and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc; Fortis and Bank PHB Plc; Investec and Fidelity Bank Plc; ABN Amro and Access Bank Plc; Cominvest and Oceanic Bank Plc; ING and Ecobank Plc; Bank of New York and Stanbic Bank Plc and; Crown Agents and Diamond Bank Plc.”
The petitioners said they are concerned that nine years after the CBN had not accounted for the money and that Intercontinental Bank, Bank PHB and Oceanic – three beneficiaries of the loans – had been liquidated and bought over. The anti-corruption coalition said it letter of 17 June, 2015 demanding information from the CBN governor, using the Freedom of Information Act was not responded to.
The petitioners viewed the CBN silence as “unwholesome practices and economic sabotage”, thereby requesting the presidency to prode the matter.