“Disclose Interest on Foreign Reserve Accounts” – Reps Instructs CBN

The House of Representatives has demanded an explanation on how the nation’s foreign reserves accounts are managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
The legislators, who were particular about the interests accruing to the funds in the foreign reserve accounts, are not happy that the reserves are managed by foreigners.

They directed the CBN to declare the particulars of the accounts in which foreign reserves of the federation are held and any interest accruable to the foreign reserve accounts held on behalf of the federation in the last four years and thereafter periodically.

The lawmakers urged the CBN to report the criteria for engaging any and all foreign managers of the foreign reserves account of the federation to ensure transparency.

This is in addition to annual reports of performance and continued compliance of the managers with any set guidelines issued by the CBN for the engagement of the managers.

The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion by Abudussamad Dasuki (APC, Sokoto), who noted that the CBN maintains several foreign reserve accounts on behalf of the federation containing funds in foreign currencies.

He said the foreign currencies are held in financial institutions before they are shared during the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

He said: “It is a fact that reasonable interests accrue from the surplus of funds held by the CBN on behalf of the federation which have not been monetised into naira and received by the federation from the CBN from the foreign bank accounts.

“It is also a fact that foreign managers are contracted by the CBN to manage the funds on contractual terms which are not subject to public scrutiny or open competitive and transparent processes.

“Furthermore, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) was established, among other reasons, to undertake the management of of the excess crude account funds on behalf of the federation and that domestic capacity is being developed in order that large state-owned funds can be managed by Nigerians.

“It is however of concern that the accruals to the federation from foreign reserve accounts have not been openly declared

“Of more concern is the fact that some states have persistently agitated for the discontinuance of the ‘agreement’ allowing FAAC to decide savings or reserves from disbursable funds to the components of the Federation.

“It is worrisome that the entire circumstances regarding the management of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) of the federation is straining the relationship between the three tiers of government, in particular, with the argument of some states that they require the unused funds for development purposes and so do not support the continued arrangement.

“If this situation is not thoroughly examined and appropriate measures taken, it may lead to unforeseeable consequences.”

The bill was referred to House Committee on Finace which had two months to report back after it was adopted through voice vote.



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