Amid probe CBN releases 7 years financial statements

THE Central Bank of Nigeria has released its Consolidated Financial Statements for the last seven years amid an investigation into its financial management.

The long-awaited statements had raised concerns about integrity in the apex bank’s financial management.

According to information from the CBN website, the financial statements released are for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The ICIR had on July 5 reported why the CBN and other public interest entities should disclose their financial statements yearly, as it is a core of transparency and accountability surrounding the activities of public interest entities.

The suspended CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had come under attack for not releasing the apex bank’s financial statements to the public, a gross violation of the CBN Act 2007.

Since 2005 when it started publishing details of its annual report on its website, CBN never failed to publish the report until 2016, when it abruptly stopped the publication of the crucial documents in deviance of the law regulating its operations.

According to the CBN Act 2007, the apex bank is expected to publish its report within two months after the end of each financial year.

“The Bank shall, within two months after the close of each financial year, transmit to the National Assembly and the President a copy of its annual accounts certified by the Auditor.

“A report required to be submitted to the National Assembly and the President shall be published by the Bank in such a manner as the Governor may direct

“The Board shall ensure that accounts submitted pursuant to this section shall as soon as possible, be published in the Gazette.

“The Bank shall, as soon as may be practicable after the last day of each month makeup end, publish a return of its assets and liabilities as at the close of business on that day, or if that day is a holiday, as at the close of business on the last preceding business day,” the Act stated.

The ICIR also reported that President Bola Tinubu had appointed a Special Investigator, Jim Obazee, to probe the CBN seven weeks after the suspension and arrest of Emefiele.

The appointment dated July 28 came with immediate effect, and Obazee was to report directly to the President.

The President had directed Obazee to investigate the CBN and related entities using a suitably experienced, competent, and capable team and to work with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to deliver on the assignment.

A Punch report on Friday, August 11, showed that the CBN owes JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs a combined sum of $7.5bn as of the financial year ended December 2022.




     

     

    Included as part of its liabilities is another $6.3bn owned in foreign currency forwards.

    “The Group entered into a securities lending agreement with Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan, and as part of the agreement, the Group pledged its holdings on foreign securities in return for cash. The cash received from Goldman Sachs is N0.23tn ($500m), 2021: N0.22tn ($500m), and JP Morgan N3.23tn ($7bn), 2021: N3.05tn ($7bn) is recognised in other foreign securities,” it stated.

    Securities lending forms part of the CBN’s total external reserves of about N14.3tn or $29bn using the official exchange rate of N494/$1 as of 2022.

    However, the apex bank also owes another N3.15tn ($6.3bn) in foreign currency forward, which are forex obligations it needs to make to foreign investors, it showed.

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