The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday told the House of Representatives that its 2016 food grain mop up scheme was initiated by the Federal Government.
It said the scheme was initiated to save the country from a looming danger from threat of export of the nation’s food grains by foreign companies.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, said this at the continuation of public hearing on investigation of the activities of the National Emergency Management Agency in Abuja.
Emefiele said the CBN, being the monitor of the country’s economic system, took steps to prevent an imminent food insecurity danger due to rising inflation.
He added that price increase of commodities, falling value of naira, the need to encourage local farmers and consequences of the activities of the foreign companies spurred the initiative.
Emefiele, who was represented by Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Finance, said it was for the reasons that the bank contacted four companies to mop up food grains around the country.
Fatokun said the programme was not an annual project but an intervention scheme carried out for that year to save a situation.
The bank also said the participating companies were fully paid for the loan they sourced from banks to execute the project.
Fatokun disputed the assertion that the fund was credited to an Infrastructure Euro bond.
According to him, the loan was raised by the Debt Management Office as a debt for CBN from the N200 billion Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.
He said: “These companies were selected because they were big ticket off takers and known by grain farmers.
“That’s why they were invited to participate in the special programme of grain mop up.
“As to the status of the loan, the loan was given to the four banks in December 2016 and fully paid up between October and November 2017.
“On source of funding, as stated by us at our first appearance at this public hearing, we are bankers to the government.
“We maintain government accounts and we act on mandates received from government just as commercial banks act on mandates received from their customers.
“The Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation will be in a better position to throw light on that.”
The Rep. Isa Ali-led committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness adjourned the hearing that has witnessed over 10 sittings indefinitely.
The Chairman said the Committee had a timeline as mandated by the House.