Across the Africa continent flies Ecobank Nigeria, courtesy of it being under Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, being the parent company of Ecobank Group. While it rides on the wave of acclaimed public trust that banks with it in Nigeria to defend its success, what Nigerians didn’t know is that Ecobank is one of those that has denied them having constant electricity for years.
Welcome to the sordid but realistic tales of how Ecobank walked away with billions and did nothing.
The year was 2015, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the embattled sacked Governor, Godwin Emefiele, without any directive of then President Goodluck Jonathan incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle called NESI Stabilization Strategy Limited. What Jonathan initially approved is a stabilization fund to be limited by guarantee in order for NESI to address the problems in the electricity industry to operate for 10 years wherein the fund would have been repaid.
To see this noble idea come to pass, some banks were selected, an action which saw Nigerians sleep while the banks owner buga away, SecretsReporters has learned authoritatively. One of the banks selected was Ecobank and indeed committed one of the biggest electricity heist against Nigeria.
The Bolaji Lawal led bank over the years engaged in manipulation by unlawfully arranging and collected part of the 1.9535% for participating in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility. These fees were paid to Ecobank in ration of its contribution to the NEMSF disbursement, according to External Auditor’s Notes to the Financial Statement of NESI Stabilization Strategy Limited.
Ecobank Nigeria walked away fraudulently with N1.7 billion without doing anything, one of the highest by the league of banks who perpetrated the fraud.
This has been unearthed by the Jim Obazee investigative team, carrying out a fact finding on how the CBN was governed under Emefiele. In its report to President Bola Tinubu which is in our possession, he indicted Bolaji Lawal and all its Managing Directors from 2015 till date stating that “it is important that all artificial and natural persons involved in this manipulation, to which public funds were plundered, must be held accountable and responsible”.
It went further to make a recommendation to Tinubu that Ecobank should refund the sum of N1.7 billion criminally diverted. That money if converted to today’s money will see Lawal signing away over N13 billion from the bank’s cover due to the fallen exchange rate of N170 at 2015 to N1450 in 2024 open market rates.