The former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chukwuma Soludo, is under the radar of British crime investigators who want to understand his role in the N29 billion polymer banknote contract issued during his tenure.
Between 2006 and 2009, the Central Bank carried out currency reforms that saw the introduction of polymer bank notes to replace the paper notes of the country’s lower denominations. In late 2009, media reports alleged that top CBN officials had received bribes in order to grant an Australian company, Securency International Pty Ltd, the contract which saw the Australian company supplying Nigeria with at least 1.9 billion pieces of the polymer substrate.
The contract is now the subject of a multi-national investigation straddling Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, the UK and Nigeria, from which about N3.5 billion was paid out in slush fund. Investigators believe that millions out of the amount were paid to top Nigerian politicians and bank officials.