The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that no monies are missing or stolen from its coffers contrary to speculations in certain sections of the media. This was contained in a Press Release by the the Bank on Sunday.
The release, signed by Isaac Okorafor, Director of Corporate Communications reads in part:
“The Management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been notified of a purported audio recording of selective conversations amongst the Governor, Deputy Governor and some Senior Officials. Contrary to the headline-grabbing narrative that the discussion was about a fraudulent transaction, this conversation – the beginnings of which was omitted to create a different impression – was simply to proffer solutions to a misunderstanding that affected the Bank’s balance sheet.”
The statement clarifies further that the wiretapped discussions among senior officials of the Bank was about a certain “erroneous” audit report about a loan of N650 billion, provided to 35 States of the Federation in 2015. The loan was secured with the approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency. The loan amount was released in monthly tranches to the States in order to cushion the effects of economic recession that the country was going through at the time.
According to the release, at the closing of the Bank’s accounts in 2018, the sum of N150 billion of these loans to the States was erroneously classified as bad by external auditors to the Bank. According to the Statement, the conversations among the senior officials of the Bank was aimed at resolving the error.
The statement reads:
“In closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft Account, erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negativelyaffected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund. The selectiveconversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolving it. Obviously, it soonbecame clear that a State Government loan cannot be classified as “bad” or “irrecoverable” when the State still exists and getting FAAC allocations.
The Bank then reached out to the Federal Ministry of Finance and they jointly gave comfort to the auditors who accepted in writing that these monies would be repaid. On this basis, the auditors reversed the negative entry and the certified that theCBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs.”
The Bank reiterates that under the leadership Governor Emefiele, the CBN has always pursued transparency in its stewardship, noting that the integrity of Governor Emefiele remains unassailable.
The release concludes:
“The integrity of the CBN Governor remains unassailable. He has no account in Dubai or anywhere in the world and would never convert the funds of CBN for personal use. Not in the past, not now and not ever. The use of selective wiretapped conversations of the Bank’s Management, to malign his character and integrity will never stand. The Bank will pursue every legal means to bring the perpetrators to justice.”