The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and discount houses to donate to the Victims Support Fund Committee, set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to raise funds to assist victims of Boko Haram insurgency, which has killed at least 2,053 civilians in the first half of this year in 95 attacks.
The 26-member committee, chaired by former Minister of Defence, Lt.- Gen. T. Y. Danjuma, was inaugurated last week by Jonathan in Abuja.
The directive, which was “more or less like an appeal,” was given in Lagos yesterday by CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at a breakfast meeting with banks’ managing directors and those of other financial institutions.
New Telegraph had exclusively reported yesterday that the CBN governor summoned the bank chiefs to a meeting without disclosing any agenda.
At the meeting, which held at the CBN new head office complex, Emefiele was said to have told the bank chiefs that President Goodluck Jonathan had appealed to him to seek the support of the financial institutions to contribute to the terror support fund.
One of the participants at the meeting confided in New Telegraph that the bank chiefs told Emefiele that for such funds to be donated, they would have to seek approvals from their respective boards.
The bank chiefs who were said to have been looking forward to the meeting, being Emefiele’s first breakfast forum with them, were said to be disappointed, as they had thought it was issues in the industry that would be discussed. “The meeting was a bloody waste of time.
We thought the meeting was called to discuss the issues and challenges facing the industry but to our surprise, it was basically to discuss Chibok and terrorist issues,” the source said.
Emefiele’s predecessor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had also coaxed banks to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund. Last week, President Goodluck Jonathan had written a letter to the National Assembly seeking the approval to borrow $1 billion to fight Boko Haram, which has killed about 15,000 people in the five years of its campaign of terror.
At the inauguration of the Victims Support Fund Committee, which happened on the day his letter to the National Assembly seeking approval to borrow $1 billion was read to lawmakers, Jonathan had told the members to mobilise collective efforts and resources in support of terror victims.
He urged Nigerians and non-Nigerians, individuals and cooperate bodies, to give generously to the fund.
Besides Danjuma and former Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc. Managing Director, Mr. Fola Adeola, who is the deputy chairman, other members of the committee include Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Alhaji Abdulsamad I. Rabiu, Alhaji Sani Dauda, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija and Mr. Cosmas Maduka.
Also on the committee are former Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Jim Ovia, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc., Mr. Wale Tinubu and Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi.