N8 Billion Has Been Refunded To Government Treasury – Melaye

dino melaye on Government's treasuryA Member of the Nigerian Senate has said that about N8 billion has been refunded back to the treasury of government and more monies will be refunded.

“As I speak to you, about eight billion Naira has been refunded back to the treasury of government and I know more monies will be refunded”, he said.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Senator Dino Melaye said that ” basically, I want to say that when I raised this motion on the floor of the Senate, I got a lot of insults on social media, everywhere, that I was blabbing and there was no truth in the content of my presentation.

“But I tweeted that the truth has no colour and every lie has an expiry date.

“I want to thank God that I have been vindicated by the public hearing where my revelations on the floor of the Senate have given room for confession even by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele”, he said.

While answering a question on how he got an insight on the alleged illegality and exorbitant commission charged for the deployment of Remita, the Senator said that “I will want to say that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a very laudable program which is going to help blocking leakages and I support it.

“My prayer on the day I moved the motion was to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for an implementation of the TSA, but I was challenging that the instrumentality of the TSA is being used by some individuals to undercut Nigerians and our national patrimony”, he claimed.

Senator Melaye had argued that the use of Remita was a violation of Section 162(1) of the constitution, which stated that “the federation shall maintain a special account to be called the federation account into which all revenues collected by the government of the federation except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the ministry or department of government charged with foreign affairs and the residents of the FCT, Abuja”.

He further stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) could only appoint a registered bank as an agent for collecting and disbursing the funds.

The Senator said that since Remita was not a bank, its appointment as a collection agent was in violation of the CBN Act and the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2007.

Giving his view on the amount he would recommend for private bodies for doing government jobs, Senator Melaye said that “the Senate is geared towards blocking leakages and also negotiating to the barest minimum, the advantage of Nigerians and the national treasury.

“We are not saying that private companies engaged in almost all platforms used by the government shouldn’t be paid, but what we are saying is that nothing outrageous should be paid at the detriment of our national purse”, he said.

“Anti-Social Media Bill”

The Senator also cleared the ground on the Social Media Bill by saying “there is nothing called the social media bill and there is no such bill before the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; at least the 8th Senate.

“I want to assure you that the 8th Senate were operating on the three cardinal objective of the agenda (the first, second and third agenda focuses on the people)”, he explained.

Sanusi’s Removal Is Against CBN Act – Lawmaker

A member of the House of Representatives, Razaq Bello-Osagie says that the suspension of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi, by President Goodluck Jonathan is “illegal and against the CBN Act.

He likened the job of the governor to that of an auditor, saying that “the job of an auditor is not an investigator or a police man but an independently trained professional whose duty it is to add value or creditability to the statement presented to him as he shows concerns of the state of affairs of an entity, if anything arises in your suspicion you prove matters to the bottom”.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Hon. Rasaq stated that the suspension should have come before the report of the unremitted funds came to the public,  stressing that “Nigerians want to know if Sanusi’s claims about the unremmitted funds by the NNPC is true and where the funds are located?”

Hon. Rasaq explained that it was the process of “removal” that most Nigerians were not comfortable with. “It is clearly written in Section 11 (2F) of the CBN Act of 2007, but when you violate these processes, it gives an impression of another profound example of impunity”

He insisted that the president had enough time, “this caveat is not just about Sanusi, it can be Emefiele tomorrow” because the CBN as an institution is not an ordinary institution but an institution that is charged with a huge responsibility of how the economy is managed.

Sanusi’s Suspension: House Of Reps Expresses Concern About Due Process

The House of Representatives on Monday stressed its stand in the on-going controversy over the suspension of the Central Bank Governor by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Through its spokesman, Zakari Mohammed, the lawmakers pointed out that they had nothing against the president for exercising his powers under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act to remove the CBN Governor.

“We are concerned that people read that CBN Act just by half and then stop. That is worrisome,” he said.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Monday, Mr Mohammed expressed the House’s concern about the President’s disregard of the rules of removing the CBN Governor, as stated in the CBN Act.

“Section 11(2F) of the Act states categorically that the CBN Governor can be removed provided it’s supported by two-third majority of the Senate and in this case, we don’t know whether a communication has been sent to the Senate, requesting the removal of the CBN Governor. That is what we are worried about,” he said.

He further stated: “We, in the House of Representatives, want institutions to be built and not individuals. We are not bothered by all the misconducts put together. We are worried about the process of removal because if we as the parliament brought out an Act in 2007 and the Act is being abused, we should stand by it and insist that the right thing should be done.”

Mohammed, who stressed that the President had the right to remove Sanusi, insisted that such an act must be approved by the Senate before it was carried out, contrary to assertions of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, who had aired his views earlier on the programme.

He further accused the President of being selective in the laws he chose to follow as he had sent the names of his nominees to the National Assembly following the suspension which he went ahead to execute without due process.

“The House of Representatives is not saying that a public officer should not be sanctioned but we are saying that the right procedure should be followed,” he said.

Jonathan Should Have Sacked Sanusi Long Ago – Mike Ozekhome

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome, on Monday said President Goodluck Jonathan’s action against the suspended CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, was long overdue and should have been an outright sack.

Several arguments trailed the President’s decision to suspend the Governor without the required two-third vote from the Senate.

However, speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ozekhome argued that Jonathan followed due process under the law.

According to him, the power of the President to remove Sanusi is inherent in the power of an employer to suspend an employee and so it doesn’t even have to be written.

“The CBN Act simply talks about removal from office in Section 11(2F) but it did not dwell on the issue of suspension,” he said and stressed that suspension was a step towards removal or dismissal.

He commended counter arguments by some lawyers that “one of the legal principles of statutory interpretation is that whatever is not stated is excluded and since suspension was not specifically mentioned in the CBN Act, it means it was excluded.”

He, however, gave a counter argument saying “such argument forgets its sister principle of statutory interpretation that what is not forbidden or outlawed is allowed. In other words, if a law does not specifically say you cannot do this, it means you can do it.”

The lawyer went further to say that the suspended CBN governor, who was employed directly by the President under Section 8 of the CBN Act, failed in regards to the ethical and behavioural tendencies expected of him and that the autonomy of the institution was subject to the President’s leadership.

“Section 8 says it is the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that employed the CBN governor and the deputy governors” adding that “the CBN is autonomous to the extent that it reports to the President” he said.

Ozekhome further argued that the President had followed due procedure in removing Sanusi, as approval by the Senate should come after the deed had been done. “One comes before the other,” he said and maintained that; “dismissal takes place then you go to the Senate for confirmation.”

Ozekhome, who compared Sanusi to unpopular Governors in other countries of the world, said the position of the CBN governor was conservative and that he should not have criticised a government he worked for publicly. “A CBN Governor is supposed to be seen and rarely heard, if at all he should be heard.”

“If you must be a sentinel at the apex bank of Nigeria, like Caesars’ wife, you must be above board,” he said, insisting that “the right thing to do out of self-respect, character and dignity is to put in your letter of resignation” if he had differences with the system.

According to the senior lawyer, Sanusi’s criticism of the Federal Government led to disinvestment and the instability of the Naira. “That is why the Naira has been dancing a ‘yoyo dance’.”

He faulted Sanusi’s inconsistency in reeling out figures, insisting that it undermines the confidence in the economy and currency of the country. “As a CBN Governor he should be master of figures, he shouldn’t stumble because you are playing with figures in the realm of international politics.

“A CBN governor does not have to raise an alarm to the country. There are in-built mechanisms in any government.

“I don’t agree with you that when you work in a system, that the way to work in that system is to flip-flop with figures to the whole world which undermines the economy of that country,” he added.

Sanusi’s Suspension: There Is Need For Court Interpretation – Oyefeso

A Financial Lawyer, Tilawa Oyefeso, has thrown his weight behind suspended CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s resolve to seek court interpretation on the legality of his suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, played host to Mr Oyefeso, 24 hours after the suspension of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria was announced.

He called for caution on the way the issue of Mr Lamido Sanusi’s suspension as the Central Bank Governor should be approached, considering that the directive by the Nigerian President was referred to as a suspension, which is different from a removal.

He said, “Suspension is an abeyance of certain rights that an individual possesses; it doesn’t necessarily mean a demotion. So, essentially that he was suspended doesn’t mean he was removed.”

However, he expressed his grouse on what seems like noncompliance with provisions of the CBN Act, particularly Section 8, which deals with the appointment of a CBN Governor and the provisions of Sections 9, 10 and 11 which deals also with his removal.

“The appointment of the CBN Governor is done by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate, like wise his removal can also be done by the President, but subject to two third of the majority of the Senate. So when the President suspends the CBN Governor, the question arises, does he have the powers to do that?” He said.

He also shared the view that there was need for the interpretation of the court, as the President’s action looks more like a removal to him, in view of the immediate nomination of a new CBN Governor by the President. He feared Mr Sanusi might win in the court of law.

Oyefeso also explained the legal framework for the role of Government in performing administrative functions to carry out a suspension. He said that when there is such suspension, the right of the individual only seizes for a moment. So, essentially, Mr Sanusi was still the CBN Governor but only with a new title – the suspended CBN Governor.

He further said that in other parts of the world, the President of the country would not in any way interfere in the functions of the Central Bank. Therefore, Nigerians should not personalize things as emphasis should be on the office and not the occupant as stipulated by the law.

He, however, admitted that the office of the CBN Governor was indeed too strong in Nigeria. He cited the effect that Mr Lamido Sanusi’s suspension had had on the economy within 24 hours of its announcement.

CBN Stops Polymer Note Production, Reverts To Paper Money

Years after spending millions of Naira on campaigns and migration of the nation’s currency from paper prints to polymer notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it is ready to stop the printing of small denomination naira in polymer notes.

The deputy governor, banking supervision, Tunde Lemo, in a statement on Sunday said the apex bank decided to scrap the polymer notes because they fade easily, despite earlier experiments which showed that the notes could last longer than paper notes.

Mr Lemo adds that no new polymer note is being printed at the moment and the CBN will begin to produce the second generation of lower denomination notes sometime between June and July this year.

The CBN deputy governor also appealed to Nigerians to be more careful in handling the naira notes, stressing that its campaign against the abuse of the currency has not been successful.

Mr. Lemo, further explained the new policy disclosed this in an interview in Washington on the side lines of the on-going Spring Meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“By the middle of the year, we will start to produce the second generation of lower denomination notes, now in paper and not in polymer. My plea is that Nigerians should exercise patience; it wasn’t the fault of the CBN; it was just because we had to go back to the drawing board to rethink the ‘Project Cure’ in the light of the wish of the public that we should not go ahead with the N5,000 notes and lower denominations” he said.

“We will correct that in the course of the year. Polymer certainly will be phased out. In fact, we are phasing out polymer.  No new note is being printed in polymer now.”

Lemo stated that when the CBN was going to introduce the polymer currencies, its research showed that they could last longer than ordinary paper notes. “However, with the benefit of hindsight, we probably should not have dumped polymer because, yes, the substrate lasts longer, but the in-consubstrate began to fade; we didn’t realise that at the time of introduction.”

“So, part of ‘Project Cure’ was actually to move away from polymer substrate to paper; unfortunately, we had a push-back because of the issues around N5,000 note and coins.

“The entire programme was put in abeyance; otherwise by now, we should have stopped producing polymer.’’

Lemo said the CBN had awarded a contract for the printing of the higher denomination notes to a foreign company because of low capacity at the Nigerian Printing and Minting Company.

He said the bank would begin to receive the fresh notes from June.

On the campaign for careful handling of the Naira, Lemo said that it was unfortunate that it was not successful, but noted that it was a criminal act to abuse the Naira going by the CBN Act.

The deputy governor said, “Unfortunately, CBN is not a law enforcement institution; we left that in the hands of the law enforcement institutions and that has not kicked in.

“I still go to parties and see people spraying money, stepping on money, I see touts distributing mint-fresh money that should go to customers.’’

Lemo also said that the CBN had talked to the police to step up surveillance to reduce their abuse of the naira, adding that the bank had no right to arrest people who sold the currency on the streets.

He said the act of abuse and sale of the naira by touts had defeated the clean note policy of the bank, but assured that efforts were being made to tackle the problem.

National Assembly In Power Contest With Sanusi – Lawyer

A legal practitioner and financial analyst, Tilewa Oyefeso on Thursday said the bill before the National Assembly, seeking to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) act is the most important in the history of the country.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Oyefeso said it is wrong to allow just one person decide the fate of Nigerians in terms of currency in use.

Citing section 17, 20 and 22 of the CBN act which says “The bank shall have the sole right of issuing currency notes and coins throughout Nigeria and neither the Federal Government nor any State Government, Local Government, other person or authority shall issue currency notes, bank notes or coins or any documents or tokens payable to bearer on demand being document or token which are likely to pass as legal tender.

“The bank shall arrange for the printing of currency notes and the minting of coins; issue, re-issue and exchange currency notes and coins at the bank’s offices and at such agencies as it may, from time to time, establish or appoint; arrange for the safe custody of un-issued stocks of currency notes and for the preparation, safe custody and destruction of plates and paper for the printing of currency notes and disc for the minting of coins; and arrange for the destruction of currency notes and coins withdrawn from circulation under the provisions of section 20 (3) of this Act or otherwise found by the bank to be unfit for use.”

Mr Oyefeso said the National Assembly’s ambition to take back the powers vested on the governor of the CBN is the motive of the lawmakers to seek an amendment of the act that established the bank.

“There is a contest for power; the National Assembly, they want to take back that power. There has always been this conflict which may eventually be resolved by the Supreme Court,” he said.