CBN, Finance Ministry Blocking Agric Devt, Says Reps

The financial threat posed to the agricultural development of the country was yesterday highlighted in the House of Representatives when the members threatened to issue an arrest warrant on the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

Emefiele had failed to appear last week before the a House Committee investigating the undeclared oil sale revenue of over N350bn.

To compound Emefiele’s woes, the House of Representatives yesterday stated that the apex bank was involved along with the Ministry of Finance in an alleged unpaid N50 billion capital shares to the Bank of Agriculture (BoA). The House decided to summon the Minister, Mrs Kemi Adesosun to explain why the ministry had defaulted in payment.

The decision to commence the probe followed an unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Femi Fayeke (Osun-APC) at the plenary in Abuja yesterday.

Fayeke had in the motion said that the CBN and the Finance Ministry, as major shareholders of BoA, were yet to remit N20 billion and N30 billion, respectively, for the effective running of the bank.

According to him, the CBN and the Federal Ministry of Finance had only paid N4 billion and N27 billion on their respective stakes in the bank, leaving the management of the bank blank over the remittance of the outstanding N15.9 billion and N2.2 billion respectively.

The lawmaker said that the bank recorded losses of N2.2 billion in 2014 and N4.8 billion in 2015, adding that the bank faced dwindling fortunes in the immediate future if nothing was urgently done to support it.

He said that the failure of both agencies to pay their counterpart funding to the bank has constrained the agriculture sector severely to perform its stabilizing role of the economy, especially in the face of dwindling economic fortunes of the country.

Taking a different view, Rep. Jones Onyereri (Imo-PDP) said he was unimpressed with the performance record of the BoA and called for its investigation to ascertain what it did with the N31 billion it received.

Presiding, the Speaker of House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, directed the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services to investigate and report back within four weeks

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