The day was bright in the Federal Ministry of Finance office in Abuja. The then Minister, Kemi Adeosun, unsure what to do, picked her pen and wrote a memo to the now suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
This memo will later lead to Nigeria losing N936.1 million to Nigeria’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote’s company, in a deal insiders say was never fully executed.
With memo number, HMF/CBN/FOOD/1/2017 dated June 2nd, 2017, Adeosun attaching an approval from the immediate past Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who was then Acting President, instructed the CBN Governor to dole out a whooping N5.8 billion to selected companies in the name of ‘Emergency intervention of food security to support the population affected by insurgency in the Northeast’.
The memo, which was exclusively in the hands of SecretReporters, revealed that five establishments were to share the money, among which Dangote’s own was included. The memo stated that the Accountant General of the Federation would send a formal mandate to support the Minister’s request.
Emefiele directed the DG (Ops) to “Pls process payment immediately.”
On June 7th, via an internal secret memo, Y.M. Sanusi, the CBN director of the Corporate Secretariat, wrote to the Director of the Banking & Payments System via the Deputy Governor of Operations on the Decisions of the Committee of Governors to make payment to Rabiu.
The billionaire submitted one of his companies, known as Dangote Rice Limited, with account number 0062487976, to receive the money.
This payment to the billionaire would later be taken from the controversial Ways and Means account of the FG.
In making the payment, Sanusi wrote, “I write to inform you that the Committee of Governors at its 512th Meeting held on Wednesday 7th June 2017 considered Memorandum CG/JUN/512/2017/12 on the request from the Honorable Minister of Finance for the payment of N5,865,671,389.26 for Emergency Intervention on Food Security to Support the population Affected By Insurgency in the North-East and GRANTED ANTICIPATORY APPROVAL PENDING RATIFICATION BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS.
With the masterstroke, Dangote smiled to the bank, becoming almost a billion Naira richer.
Dangote is currently enmeshed in the CBN Forex scam perpetrated under the sack of CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.