Senate summons CBN governor over exchange rates for infrastructure projects

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The Nigerian Senate has summoned the governor of the central bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele to give detailed explanations on the rationale behind the exchange rates the CBN used for three key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola.

The projects are being funded by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The PIDF was earmarked from dollar-denominated Sovereign Wealth Fund to partly fund the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano Expressway, East-West Road and Mambilla Hydro Project.

The statement explained that the first three projects had already been funded to the tune of N163.8 billion.

Adeola demanded the appearance of the CBN governor during an interactive session between the panel and the Managing Director of NSIA, Uche Orji.

The statement explained that Orji and his management team had told the committee that the contracts for the projects were denominated in naira and that the CBN exchange rate for the disbursed fund was N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305.

Orji stated that the NSIA, since operations in third quarter of 2013 with seed money of $1 billion, has invested in critical sectors like healthcare, presidential fertilizer initiative, education, real estate, international financial instruments.

He said in 2018 the federal government injected $650 million for the PIDF from which N163.8 billion has so far been disbursed for the three projects from the approved N672.4 billion earmarked.

The committee chairman demanded to see the contract documents for the projects and why the exchange rate for the dollar to naira was at N325 to a dollar instead of the official rate of N305 in a government to government transaction for these key infrastructure projects.

“We are not indicting the NSIA or conducting an investigation or probe of the CBN but we like to know the reason this different rate was used but we are inviting the CBN to appear together with the NSIA on Monday,” Adeola said.

 




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