CBN says Emefiele has no account in Dubai

insists no monies Missing

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said that its Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele has no account in Dubai or anywhere in the world and would never convert the funds of CBN for personal use.

In a statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications CBN, Isaac Okorafor, the bank said there is no money missing or stolen from CBN.

This is in response to a purported audio recording of selective conversations amongst the Governor, Deputy Governor and some Senior Officials of CBN alleging that there was a fraudulent transaction between them.

The Management of the CBN, therefore, maintains that contrary to the headline-grabbing narrative that the discussion was about a fraudulent transaction, “this conversation – the beginnings of which were omitted to create a different  impression – was simply to proffer solutions to a misunderstanding that affected the Bank’s balance sheet.”

The CBN explained that it 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 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocations.

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In order to ensure that ordinary Nigerian 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 per cent with a two-year grace period to 35 States of the Federation. These monies according to the bank 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.

It further states that the selective conversation being circulated was simply a discussion to ascertain why the auditors took that position and next steps to resolve 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 it noted.

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 CBN said the auditors reversed the negative entry and 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.

According to the apex bank, had the online media which released the selective recordings sought the comments of CBN as required of journalism practice, “we would have provided it.”

Clearly, those who listened to the audio and can easily ascertain that the conversation had nothing to do with anything fraudulent as purported, the statement clarified.

“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.

“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 statement read in part.

It further stated that 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,” CBN assured.

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