The House of Representatives yesterday differed with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on figures and the amount of funds disbursed from the N288 billion Power and Aviation Intervention Funds (PAIF) approved by the federal government to revitalize the power and airline industries in the country between 2003 and 2008.
An investigative hearing by the House Ad-hoc Committee on Disbursement of Public Funds pursuant to Section 88 of the Constitution, noted the “unwarranted manner” the CBN disbursed the funds to the Bank of Industry (BOI) without exercising its role as a regulator of the banking industry.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Hon.Yakubu Dogara (APC Bauchi) said the primary objective of the hearing is to investigate and determine whether the disbursement of public funds of N249.85 billion between 2010- 2013 under the PAIF complied with extant constitutional provisions.
The Committee said it was set to investigate and determine whether the disbursement under the PAIF conforms to extant constitutional provisions and whether the guidelines, procedures and character of the disbursement were devoid of private and public sector lending norms.
In his presentation, the Director of Development Finance of the CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe said the fund came to rescue the power and the airline industries to forestall the industries and the entire economy from being plunged into economic crisis.
According to him, the CBN did not want the fund to be loaned to the BOI because the apex bank would not want any fraud in the disbursement.
The committee, while questioning the role of the CBN in the whole process of disbursement of the PAIF, noted that the apex bank allowed the Bank of Industry (BOI) to be the manager of the intervention fund without exercising its regulatory role in the banking sector.
The Committee, in the course of the investigation pledged that its findings and recommendations would be guided by the provisions of extant laws on the disbursement of public funds by government agencies.