After Probing Bank Officials, FG Set to Release Special Investigation Report on CBN

After Probing Bank Officials, FG Set to Release Special Investigation Report on CBN

  • The SGF has stated that the Federal Government will soon unveil the CBN audit report
  • This is following an earlier investigation launched by Jim Obazee as Special Investigator for the bank
  • It is expected that the CBN audit report will offer vital insights into the governance problems

George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has stated that the Federal Government will soon release the audit report of the investigation into the Central Bank of Nigeria.

President Bola Tinubu launched this investigation and named Jim Obazee, the former CEO of Nigeria's Financial Reporting Council, as the CBN's Special Investigator on July 28, 2023.

President Tinubu stipulated that the investigator will provide a direct report to the President's Office. Photo Credit: FG
Source: UGC

Recall that earlier reported that Tinubu's determination to unravel events at the Central Bank of Nigeria during the leadership of Godwin Emefiele has stretched beyond the bank's officials.

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This comes after a report that the CBN owes JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs a combined $7.5 billion as of the financial year ended December 2022.

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Investigators provide a direct report to the President's Office

The President instructed the special investigator to look into the CBN and important government-owned businesses.

According to report, he also stipulated that the investigator will provide a direct report to the President's Office.

Obazee's duties were to investigate the CBN and important government corporations, and he answered directly to the President's Office.

In response to inquiries at a news conference held in Abuja on the occasion of Nigeria's 63rd Independence anniversary, the SGF announced this development.

He emphasised that the CBN audit report will offer vital insights into the governance problems that have contributed to the nation's current problems once it is made public.

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Akume commenting on the forthcoming report thus:

“Most of these problems confronting us are due to bad governance. The present government has confronted and is confronting these challenges. When President Bola Tinubu came on board, he took a very sound decision at the CBN. That singular act led to a massive improvement in the capital market; as experts have told us, it is something that has never happened in the past 15 years.”

A new team has been put in place at the CBN, according to the SGF, and the Special Investigator is tirelessly working on the inquiry.

He promised that Nigerians would soon have access to the investigation's findings, which would explain precisely what went wrong and how the country ended itself in its current predicament.

In a letter dated July 28, 2023, to Special Investigator Obazee, President Tinubu reaffirmed the administration's dedication to upholding accountability and combating corruption.

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The letter stated:

“In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is, today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect, and you are to report directly to my office.”

According to recent information, Obazee handed in an interim report to the president's office more than a week ago, a major development in the continuing inquiry. The preliminary report is meant to give the President an overview of the current state of the investigation while it is still ongoing.

Although this material has not yet been independently validated as of the time of publication, sources claim that the interim report has already impacted changes in leadership inside the CBN.

The President and his team are reviewing the interim report to make informed decisions to facilitate the country’s progress. It is worth noting that the CBN Special Investigator has raised concerns about the accuracy of the CBN’s annual financial reports, which were recently released.

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Consequently, there is speculation that the CBN may be asked to retract its audited annual financial reports, reflecting the ongoing scrutiny of the financial services sector regulator initiated by President Bola Tinubu in August.

CBN Swaps $12 Billion Between Access, UBA, GTB, Others in 2022

Fitch Ratings estimate the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency swap between domestic banks to be around $10 billion and $12 billion at the end of 2022, had reported.

According to the rating agency, this represented 30% of the nation's total reserves (at $37 billion as of the end of 2022) and was made up of swaps with domestic banks, among other things.

It revealed this in a paper titled “Nigeria's Weaker Reserves Highlight External Risk and Policy Challenges" after the CBN's financial statements were recently made public.


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