Bank of Uganda's Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile

The Nile River Acquisition Company (NRAC) to which Bank of Uganda (BoU) sold assets and liabilities of International Credit Bank (ICB) Limited, Greenland Bank and the Co-operative Bank at 93 per cent discount, paid Shs25, 000 as tax in Diamond Trust Bank on November, 2018, Eagle Online can say, though it was hard to establish what kind of tax it paid.

According to the Diamond Trust Bank e-payment receipt, the money was deposited in cash by a one P Niwamanya. The bank’s stamp includes words, “Frontline Agent cash received”.

Currently, NRAC, is said to be registered in Mauritius, a tax haven, is non-existent in Uganda, even though records show the company was incorporated in that country on September 26, 2007 as a global business, the same year BoU officials sold the assets of the three banks.

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According to the Auditor General’s special audit report of BoU on defunct banks, the total loan portfolio of the three banks sold to NRAC stood at Shs135 billion, comprising secured loans of Shs34.5 billion which had valid, legal or equitable mortgage on the real property.

“In the case of ICB, Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank the total loan portfolio sold of Shs135 billion included Secured loans of Shs34.5 billion which had valid, legal or equitable mortgage on the real property and were supported with legal documentation but were sold to Nile River Acquisition Company at a 93%o discount,” reads in part.

The Auditor General, John Muwanga, in a report he handed to parliament has questions this transaction and wondered why loans which were supported with legal documentation were sold to NRAC at 93 per cent discount.

Bank of Uganda is being investigated by parliament for the sale of seven commercial banks since 1993. The inquiry follows a report by the auditor general pointing out several irregularities in many of these transactions.

During their first appearance before parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase), Bank of Uganda officials led by the governor Emmanuel Mutebile were sent back for failing to provide required documents, including disclosure of particulars of the directors of Nile River Acquisition Company.

The Registrar General of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in a letter to a one Tom Mugisha on November 8, 2018 confirmed that Nile River Acquision Company doesn’t not exist in the agency’s database.

“A search conducted on records revealed that the Nile River Acquisition is not reflected in our database. We therefore request for any documentation in your possession pertaining to the said name that can aid a further search,” said URSB’s Maureen Nabachwa on behalf the Registrar, Mr. Bemanya Twebaze.

Sources at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) say the agency also doesn’t possess tax records of NRAC.

The unclear status of NRCA in Uganda raises questions as whether BoU carried due on the mysterious company that earned billions of shillings in profit as the central bank did away with Credit Bank (ICB) Ltd, Greenland Bank and the Co-operative Bank. BoU officials are expected to give more details of how they came into contact with the company as Cosase interfaces with them the coming week.