It was a loan to states for salary payment, CBN addresses missing money allegations (Press Statement)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says N150 billion which was reported as stolen from its coffers was part of a N650 billion loan to states.

The audiotape of a conversation between Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor; Adamu Lamatek, the deputy governor of the bank, and other top officials of the bank was leaked on Sunday. The men could be heard having a conversation about how to reconcile the apex bank’s balance sheet.

In a statement released by the bank on Sunday, the CBN said: “As publicly known the CBN was approached in 2015 by the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by the Vice President, to assist State Governments with Conditional Budget Support, in the aftermath of the significant nose-dive in global oil prices and associated FAAC allocations.

“In order to ensure that ordinary Nigerians workers got their salaries, pensions and gratuities and that the economy continued to recover from the recession, the Bank provided about N650 billion in loans at 9% with a two-year grace period to 35 States of the Federation. These monies were distributed to the States monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency.

In closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft Account erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund.” The apex bank said it resolved the matter by approaching the ministry of finance.

“Obviously, it soon became 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.

Read Also  MTN introduces price slash across data plans, offerings for customers

“On this basis, the auditors reversed the negative entry and the certified that the CBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs.” The apex bank said it would ensure that the perpetrators to justice. The admittance is coming after an exclusive audio posted by SaharaReporters which detailed shady transactions of the governor of the CBN with a Dubai based company which later went awry.

Contary to claims by the CBN that N150 billion was a classification error by auditors as “bad loans” in the audio, Emefiele is clearly heard saying “i am not too happy that Arowosegbe led us like this, in fact, that was what i was asking, i said we have an impression that we had 500 billion, he said no…where are we going to find this? Now we are in a very bad situation. The implication for the economy is a no, no, no” he lamented.

Read Full Press Statement Below:
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA – Press Release – No monies Missing, Stolen in CBN

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.

As publicly known the CBN was approached in 2015 by the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by the Vice President, to assist State Governments with Conditional Budget Support, in the aftermath of the significant nose-dive in global oil prices and associated FAAC allocations. In order to ensure that ordinary Nigerians workers got their salaries, pensions and gratuities, and that the economy continued to recover from recession, the Bank provided about N650 billion in loans at 9% with a two-year grace period to 35 States of the Federation. These monies were distributed to the States monthly with documented approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Presidency.

Read Also  No buyers as Naira drops to N370/$

In closing the Bank’s 2018 accounts, external auditors in their Draft Account, erroneously classified about N150 billion of these loans as bad, which negatively affected the Bank’s Balance Sheet and shareholders fund. The selective conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolving it. Obviously, it soon became 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 the CBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs. Reconciliation of Balance Sheet items are regular conversations amongst Senior Management of many agencies and should not be misconstrued as anything but that. Had the online media which released the selective recordings sought the comments of CBN as required of journalism practice, we would have provided it.

Read Also  Killing Small Businesses Softly - Simeon Kolawole (A Must Read)

Clearly those who listened to the audio and can easily ascertain that the conversation had nothing to do with anything fraudulent as purported. The Bank therefore urges all well-meaning Nigerians to disregard this audio and continue to trust that the Bank is doing everything it can to represent their interests in the best possible way.

Under the leadership of Governor Emefiele, the CBN has always stood for, and vigorously pursued transparency in its stewardship of public resources and policies. NO MONIES ARE MISSING OR STOLEN. 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.

Isaac Okorafor
Director, Corporate Communications
May 12, 2019

Listen to Full Audio Below:

Click Here to Join Newsnow Nigeria WhatsApp Group for Breaking News Alerts More News

Follow Us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER

Do You Know Nigeria? Attempt 10 simple questions on Nigeria for FREE and Win FREE N500 Airtime - Click Here to Participate!

For your news articles, press release, Breaking News, send e-mail to [email protected]

Get the latest BREAKING NEWS inside your e-mail address inbox; fill the form below and click the subscribe button