SERAP Wants Details Missing N100bn Dirty Notes, Other Public Funds

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Yemi Cardoso, to provide an account of the whereabouts of the over N100 billion in dirty and bad notes, as well as other substantial sums of cash, that are housed in various branches of the apex bank and are awaiting examination.

SERAP said the allegations are documented in the latest annual report published by the Federation’s Auditor-General.

The organisation also urged Mr 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 back in 2009 and to publish the names of the contractors who collected the money and failed to complete the projects.

The group also enquired about the whereabouts of the allegedly missing outstanding loan of N1.2 billion granted to the Enugu state government in 2015 and the exceptional loan of N1.9 billion granted to the Anambra state government between 2015 and 2016 and to recover and remit the public funds to the treasury fully.

In a letter released on Saturday and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “These grim allegations by the Auditor-General suggest grave violations of the public trust, the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the CBN Act, and national and international anti-corruption obligations.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel you and the CBN to comply with our request in the public interest,” the letter reads in part.

“According to the recently published 2020 audited report by the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has since 2017 been keeping over N100 billion [N100,672,999,000.00] ‘dirty and bad notes’, and other large sums of cash awaiting examination in various branches of the CBN.”

-By Adedapo Adesanya

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