Members of the House of Representatives yesterday queried the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over the legality of the apex bank’s N620 billion intervention in some commercial banks as well as N125 million donation to victims of Boko Haram attacks in Kano and Niger States.
The lawmakers who met with Sanusi during an investigative hearing organised by the House Committee on Banking and Currency to probe “Expenditure of public funds by the CBN and the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON) without approval”, asked the governor to state the provision in the constitution that empowered him to make the releases.
Responding, Sanusi informed the lawmakers that he did not breach any law by bailing out the banks or giving donations on behalf of the bank since there was no law that restricts him or the bank from making such decisions. He also added that the bailout money to the troubled banks was not an expenditure but a loan.
However, his explanation failed to scale through as the minority leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila argued that the apex bank overreached its powers under the CBN Act 2007 by not first seeking approval from the National Assembly as stipulated in the constitution before making the expenditure.
He noted that the donations were contrary to the CBN’s 2006 policy on Corporate Social Responsibility and wondered if the apex bank had now turned itself into a charitable organisation by giving donations of N125 million to victims of Boko Haram attacks in Kano and Madalla early this year.