CBN Releases Financial Statements Of Seven Years, Amidst President Tinubu’ Probe

The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has released the Consolidated Financial Statements for the last seven years.

The financial statement, published on its website, includes the financial periods of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.

It is the first time since 2015 the apex bank has made public its financial statements.

Speculations are, however, that the new leadership of the apex bank, under the acting Governor Folashodun Shonubi, is ready to open its book to public scrutiny.

Naija News reports that the latest move by the CBN comes after President Bola Tinunu recently appointed Jim Obazee as a Special Investigator to probe the activities of the CBN and other related entities.

In a letter dated July 28, Tinubu said the appointment of Obazee, which was immediate, was based on the fundamental objective outlined in Section 15(5) of the Nigerian constitution.

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

Meanwhile, in the released statement for the financial period 2022, the CBN declared a profit after tax of N103.8 billion, up from N75.13 billion reported a year earlier.

The apex bank, however, owes JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs a combined sum of $7.5 billion as of the financial year ended December 2022.

The bank explained that it owes Goldman Sachs $500 million and JP Morgan $7 billion in what it classified as securities lending.

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

The statement for the year 2022 also revealed that other bank liabilities include another $6.3 billion owned in foreign currency forwards.

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

The 2022 financial statement read, “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.”

Hitherto 2015, when the apex bank stopped making public its financial statements, it was an annual ritual for the bank to publish them since 2005 when it started.

The suspended CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had been attacked for not releasing the financial statements to the public.

An action which violates CBN Act.2007, which mandates the bank to publish its financial statement two months after a financial year.

The 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.

“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.” 

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