February 15, 2012 By Ifeanyi Onuba
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday explained why it donated N100m to victims of Boko Haram bomb blasts in Kano, saying the move was within the purview of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
The explanation was in reaction to criticisms that had followed the donation since Friday when the apex bank boss, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, gave out the amount.
Civil society groups had on Sunday slammed the CBN governor, wondering why he did not make similar donations to bomb blast victims in Borno, Yobe, Plateau and Adamawa states.
While some of them urged the National Assembly to invite the governor for questioning, others argued that the donation contravened the provisions of the CBN Act.
But reacting to the criticisms, a board member of the CBN, Prof. Sam Olofin, said the donation was in line with the apex bank’s mandate.
He said the donation was not made because Sanusi was from Kano State, adding that the huge damage caused by the bomb blasts prompted the apex bank to make the donation.
Olofin said that the management of the apex bank had last Friday decided to visit Kano and Madala, Niger State, to make donations to victims of the Christmas day bomb blast there.
Unfortunately, the CBN board member disclosed that the Parish Priest of the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madala, Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi, was not available when the team decided to visit the church to make the donation.
He said since the parish priest was not available, the governor decided to lead the delegation to the palace of the Emir of Kano to make donations to the victims in the state.
Olofin, however, hinted that the donation to the victims of the bomb blast in Madala would be made on Monday.
“The CBN intervention in Kano is very much within the scope of what the board had approved for the management. We did not go out of the mandate of the bank,” he said.
Quoting from the CBN Act, he said, “The Act in functions of management said that the governor, or in his absence, the deputy governor nominated by him shall be in charge of the day-to-day management of the bank and shall be accountable to the board for his acts and decisions.”
Olofin added, “So, there is no single action that the governor takes to which he is not accountable to the board or does not entail clearance from the board.
“Like what happened in Kano, the board is aware that the provision they made was for two donations, one in Madala and the other in Kano. They were to visit Madala first, but the priest was not available because he had travelled and that is why they went straight to Kano.”
“So, at the moment, they are trying to arrange to ensure that when the governor is available, the priest in charge of the church in Madala will also be available and some members of the board are aware that this has been rescheduled for Monday and they will go to Madala to make the donation.”