No Money Missing In CBN

By Ikenga Chronicles May 13, 2019

No Money Missing In CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied the allegation that N150billion was missing in its vaults in 2018 and has threatened legal action against its accusers.

A statement on Sunday evening signed by CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, also said the purported leaked audio tape about the alleged fraud is a “selective conversations amongst the Governor, Deputy Governor and some senior officials.”

He said the beginning of the audio was omitted to create a different impression but it was simply to proffer solutions to the bank’s external auditors’ error in recording appropriately the N150bn out of the states bailout funds which affected the bank’s balance sheet.

Okoroafor explained that “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 Nigerian 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 percent interest 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,” he explained.

He explained further that “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.”

According to Okoroafor, “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.”

Thus, he said “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 certified that the CBN’s 2018 accounts were a true reflection of the State of Affairs” he noted.

He noted further that “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,” he said.

He assured that “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 wire-tapped 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,” he said.

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