Reps kick as CBN fails to account for $11bn withdrawn from ECA | Ripples Nigeria
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Reps kick as CBN fails to account for $11bn withdrawn from ECA

Nigeria's external reserve hits six months high at $44.14bn

The House of Representatives Thursday kicked against the failure of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to account for the $11 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the execution of the failed National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs).

Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank chief, is yet to provide the details on the withdrawals as earlier alleged by the Accountant General of the Federation.

The funds had been withdrawn from the ECA between 2005 and 2007 to finance the NIPPs.

Adebisi Shonubi, a deputy governor of the CBN who represented Mr Emefiele at an investigative hearing arranged by the House Ad Hoc Committee on Power Sector Reforms, only provided explanation on the N1.51 trillion Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility approved and disbursed to Nigerian Electricity Trading Company (NBET) after the privatisation exercise.

Read also: CBN says it disbursed N540m to 3,161 farmers in 3 months

Shonubi said the CBN, in compliance with the Federal Executive Council’s approval, granted the sum of N213 billion, out of which N189.1 billion has been released to date while N60.8 billion had been repaid by operators who got the fund through NBET.

The apex bank also approved N701 billion for the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility out of which N694.98 billion has been disbursed at the end of 2018.

Shonubi went further to say N85.41 billion has been disbursed based on the company’s advice out of the N600 billion approved for NBET.

The money was released in order to enable new investors to clear the legacy debts inherited from the old Power Holding Company of Nigeria prior to the privatisation of power assets.

The CBN top executive observed that liquidity is a key challenge faced by the power sector, adding that all the intervention funds were guaranteed by the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated on behalf of the Nigerian government.

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