How APC Govt Staked National Reserve for $13.8billion Loan
Facts emerging have shown how President Muhammadu Buhari administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) used the nation’s foreign reserve as collateral to obtain $13.8billion from the US, for the purposes of actualizing the naira swap scheme, which eventually blew up on the face of the All Progressive Congress (APC) led government.
It is believed that out of the total loan sum, the new naira design of N32 trillion which was printed under the supervision of the former Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, head of economic management team, but reportedly unaccounted for.
According to a report by the BussinessDay authoritative financial newspaper, Osinbajo Supervised the N32 trillion printing under alleged cloudy circumstances; which the administration of President Bola Tinubu is believed to have latched onto to say the administration cannot sustain the subsidy regime and the harmonized exchange rate reform which purportedly has created an unbearable volatility in the economic space owing to the inability of the apex bank to clear the backlog of foreign exchange demand to be able to sustain supply.
Findings according to the reputable newspaper say foreign debt and use of foreign reserve as collateral including the printed N32 trillion redesigned new notes were done secretly. The newspaper says data from the seven years financial statements recently released by the CBN, revealed an accumulated debt totaling $13.8 billion.
Further examination discloses that the CBN has a combined outstanding obligation of $7.5 billion to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs as of the conclusion of the financial year in December 2022.
Additionally, the Central Bank carries an additional liability of $6.3 billion in foreign currency forward contracts, representing foreign exchange commitments to overseas investors. Considering that the CBN’s financial report displays the existing Foreign Exchange (FX) Reserves at $30.10 billion, the encumbered amount of $13.8 billion reduces the nation’s reserves to $17.0 billion.
However, the current status of these loans remains unclear due to the absence of interim financial statements released by the Central Bank. Despite this, the published external reserve position of the CBN indicates a present reserve balance of $33.9 billion.
The BusinessDay report indicated that the CBN’s debt to some foreign banks may cost Nigeria 40.7 per cent of its entire foreign reserves currently standing at $34.1 billion.
According to the report, “BusinessDay’s calculations showed an inability to meet the above obligations due to FX shortages might cost Nigeria 40.7 per cent of its $34.1billion foreign reserves.”
According to the newspaper, experts say the above development has caused distrust about Nigeria’s current external reserves despite the CBN delivering a much-needed reform in floating the currency in June.
“Senior treasury officials from banks and portfolio managers are telling me that they don’t trust the numbers the CBN is stating as the official foreign reserves position,” Kelvin Emmanuel, CEO at Dairy Hills Ltd said.
“And they believe that this is contributing to the apex bank’s inability to clear FX backlogs up to date,” he added.
Reacting to the development, a financial analyst, Kalu Aja via his verified Twitter page blamed the country’s federal lawmakers for their failure to provide oversight functions that would have stopped Buhari and from taking the loan.
He said, “Who own fx reserves? CBN Who spent fx reserves? CBN Spent on what? Defending the Naira. Why did the Naira need defending? Because it was weak I.e. $1: N469. Why was the Naira weak? Many reasons but a big reason was the CBN printed N23 trillion for Buhari to spend at will without oversight. Who should have provided oversight on the printing of N23 trillion?
“Well National Assembly and Debt Management Office. So the CBN printed N23 trillion that made the Naira lose value, then same CBN used foreign reserves to prop up the Naira they were weakening? Yes. Will anyone go to jail? Depends”.
Another user, Serah Ibrahim, said Prof Yemi Osinbanjo who served as the head of the National Economic Council during Buhari’s regime should not be exonerated from the mess.
He said, “Osinbajo is the biggest ghost worker in history. We cannot blame Emefiele for his economic blunders without also blaming Buhari and the BDSM ghost worker of Aso Rock. Osinbajo was the head of NEC but claims his hands were always tied as the BDSM performer but stood by and watched Emefiele take loans from 2 US Banks secretly and used Nigeria’s foreign reserve as collateral.
“How can CBN borrow $13.8 billion from US Banks and then use Nigeria’s foreign reserve as collateral. They have sold this country and completely destroyed our economy on purpose. They also secretly printed N32 trillion.”
Interestingly, both the immediate past administration and the current one is APC led. In the prior dispensation, top principal functionaries of the government say no matter the gravity of your corruption, financial and economic graft, once you become a member of the APC, all your sins and alleged crimes are written off.