N500Bn Is Not Missing From Our Cache -CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is deeply worried over speculations that money is missing from its nest egg.
The Bank has therefore dismissed news of a telephone conversation concocting that the some of N500 billion was missing from its coffers as a result of which its principal officers were trying to classify properly in its balance sheet.
The Director, corporate communications of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor 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 per cent 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.”
Okoroafor, further explained 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. 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,” the statement added.
He further debunked the claims in the audio clips noting that “those who listened to the audio 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.”

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