The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken a significant step by releasing its Consolidated Financial Statements covering the last seven years, marking the first time since 2015 that the apex bank has made its financial records accessible for public review.
These Consolidated Financial Statements encompass the financial periods from 2016 to 2022. However, financial analysts are raising questions about the timing of this release, finding it suspicious and warranting further investigation.
The CBN’s failure to publish these reports in the past has generated concerns among investors and individuals seeking to gain insights into the nation’s economic status.
Jim Obazee appointed to investigate the operations of CBN
In response to the need for transparency and accountability, President Bola Tinubu appointed Jim Obazee as a Special Investigator to examine the operations of the CBN and related entities.
Tinubu’s directive, based on Section 15(5) of the Nigerian constitution, aims to strengthen anti-corruption efforts and bolster good governance.
Obazee, who now holds this significant role, will operate independently and collaborate with relevant security and anti-corruption agencies to carry out the investigation.
Industry experts have expressed their opinions on the matter. Dr. Muda Yusuf, CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, emphasized that the CBN’s past lack of disclosure violated corporate governance principles and the CBN Act, warranting further scrutiny of those involved in the apex bank’s governance.
In response to the investigation, the CBN opted to release its financial statements for public access. While this move demonstrates a commitment to transparency, Prof. Akpan Ekpo of the University of Uyo suggests conducting the investigation discreetly to prevent negative perceptions among potential investors and stakeholders.
The recently disclosed financial statements were prepared in accordance with IFRS Standards, guidelines from the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, and relevant Nigerian legislation. Notably, the CBN reported a profit after tax of N103.8 billion for the year 2022 as a group.
Furthermore, the CBN’s financial statements revealed significant liabilities, including owed sums to financial institutions and expenses incurred for various schemes aimed at driving foreign exchange inflows and supporting economic stability.