Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, BOI, Olukayode Pitan, are on the verge of being arrested as the Senate, on Wednesday, 30th November 2022, stated that both of them and heads of some other agencies failed to honour an invitation issued to investigate the disbursement of N500 billion, following what they described as uneven distribution of the development fund across the six geopolitical zones.

It was claimed that the agencies conspired to shortchange some regions in the disbursement of the funds.

The Senate’s Adhoc committee handling the issue has also threatened to issue an arrest warrant on the managing director of Bank of Industry BOI Olukayode Pitan, as well as the heads of some financial institutions, the managing director of Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, Aliyu Abdulhamid and director general of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria SMEDAN, Olawale Fasanya, for their alleged failure to appear at a session of the probe.

Part of the committee’s task is to investigate claims that the above-mentioned institutions conspired to shortchange some zones in the disbursement of funds meant for small and medium-scale businesses across the country.

According to the red chamber’s committee, Emefiele, Pitan, and others involved failed to honour its invitation.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Sani Musa, disclosed that out of the five government agencies invited for the probe, only two appeared on Wednesday 30th November 2022.

He noted that CBN, BOI, and NIRSAL failed to honour the invitation without any formal notice and explanation about their absence. “Out of these five, only two came while the remaining three which are the CBN, BOI, and NIRSAL, were conspicuously absent without any letter from them explaining why. Assignment before this committee is a very important one, requiring cooperation and compliance from all those linked to issues at hand. MD of DBN and his counterpart from the Bank of Agriculture are here for required clarifications and explanations, making it mandatory for the CBN Governor, MD of BOI, and DG of NISRAL to appear unfailingly in subsequent sessions or risk being coerced through the issuance of a warrant of arrest”‘.

Story Elizabeth Ereke