Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the approval of the Process and Industrial Development gas processing deal.
Emefiele made this known on Monday while fielding questions from journalists on Monday before the commencement of the presidential retreat for ministers-designate at the State House Conference Centre.
“I am not scared at all and I think it is also important that this question has come up,” he responded when asked if he was scared of the impact of the judgement of the nation’s foreign reserves.
A British court had given P&ID the go-ahead to seize Nigerian assets worth $9 billion over the government’s inability to meet its side of an agreement to build a gas processing plant in Calabar, Cross River.
“Since the news about the judgement broke out late on Friday, we have been discussing with our counsels, and they have advised that there are sufficient and strong grounds on the basis of which we could file a stay of execution and also an appeal against that judgement.
“There are certain anomalies in the process leading to the award of that contract which is currently being looked into by the EFCC and I believe that the EFCC themselves have their own investigation reports about that.
“So, we will follow through and aggressively too on ensuring that the execution of that judgement is stayed and that the appeal succeeds at every level both within Nigeria and abroad.”
In a statement released on Saturday, Reno Omokri, an ex-aide to former president Goodluck Jonathan, had alleged that a cabal loyal to now-deceased former president Umar Musa Yar’adua signed the deal in January 2010 while Jonathan became acting president in February of the same year.
Emefiele assured that the CBN will move strongly to defend the country’s reserves as the judgement would have some impact on monetary policy.
“It is important for me to use this opportunity to assure our friends, local and foreign investors who called to expressed solidarity with us, not to express concern but to say that there is no need for anybody to worry. We know that the implication of that judgement has some impact on monetary policy and that is why the CBN is going to step forward and very strongly too to ensure that we defend the country and defend the reserves of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”