CBN releases financial report first time in seven years

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released its consolidated financial statements for the years 2015 through 2022, according a TechCabal report.

For the first time in seven years, the apex bank has made its audited financial documents available to the public.

It demonstrates how the lack of openness was cultivated throughout Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as governor.

The major Bank’s financial accounts are crucial given the major role it played throughout Buhari’s eight years in office as it was also unconstitutional to withhold those financial records.

The CBN Act states that “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.”

Although there were no meaningful repercussions, the CBN was free to ignore this fundamental mandate.

President Tinubu and the interim CBN governor, Folashodun Shonubi are following a different strategy than Emefiele and Buhari, who opted for opacity to avoid answering some important questions. Folashodun Shonubi was appointed as acting CBN governor after the suspension of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele who was accused of many crimes including sponsoring terrorism.

President Tinubu ordered a special investigator to look into CBN’s operations weeks after Emefiele was suspended. Former Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria CEO Jim Obazee who was earlier sacked by former president Buhari for gross misconduct was chosen to create a team and direct the investigation.

In 2022, the FG borrowed N6.2 trillion from the FG. The payment of the Federal Government’s budget deficits has been one of the CBN’s most critical duties during the past eight years.

Under Emefiele’s direction, the Bank’s loans to the government, known as Ways and Means Advances, grew dramatically, reaching 2900% to N23.3 Trillion by 2022.

According to the financial report, the CBN loaned FG N6.2 trillion just in 2022.

The federal government had to restructure the debts in 2022 due to financial constraints because the excessive money printing increased inflation and violated regulations governing government funding.

The surplus Naira in circulation was identified by the International Monetary Fund as one of the reasons why exchange rate stability has remained elusive despite Nigeria lifting its Naira peg on Thursday.

The resident representative of the IMF in Nigeria, Ari Aisen, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “There are too many naira running for insufficient foreign exchange. The building up of the foreign exchange supply could take some time.

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