Press Release – Fiscal Transparency: Center Commends Release of CBN 7-year Audited Financial Statement, Frowns at Depleted Foreign Reserves

The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch CeFTIW) welcomes and commends the decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release its audited financial statement covering the period between 2016-2022.

As one of the major variables in the Center’s Transparency and Integrity Index (TII), an Index that seeks to promote the openness and accountability based on the principles of proactive disclosure and access to information, fiscal transparency is a vital component that was drawn from the provisions of section 48-49 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) which mandates public institutions to “ensure full and timely disclosure and wide publication of all transactions and decisions involving public revenues and expenditures and their implications for its finances.”

The Center therefore call on MDAs that continue to flout this provision of the FRA to borrow a leaf from the CBN by disclosing and publishing their audited financial account to deepen accountability in government businesses.

Having stated this, the Center expresses its displeasure at the revelation that the CBN is indebted to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to the tune of $7.5 billion, including a $7 billion to JP Morgan and $500 million to Goldman Sachs under a classified securities lending. This, the report said is in addition to a $6.3 billion exposure to foreign currency forwards. The securities lending is said to form part of the CBN’s total external reserves of about $30.1 billion (at the official exchange rate of N494/$1 as at 2022), depleting the nation’s foreign reserve to about $17 billion, all things being equal.

The lack of operational transparency by the apex bank is an indictment on the leadership of the former President Muhammadu Buhari and the former CBN governor who met the reserve at $34.2 billion and a total public debt of about 12 trillion when it came to power in 2015, but left the public debt at 77 trillion with the securitization of CBN Ways and Means in May 2023 before the expiration of the administration.

We call for further investigation into the operations of the CBN under the former President, and prosecution of officers who may have been involved in sabotaging the country’s economy. We strongly hold that nothing justifies the level of fiscal and monetary recklessness exhibited by public officers under the past administration, and therefore reiterate our call on relevant agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (ICPC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to swiftly take action.

Also, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must demonstrate commitment to the fight against corruption by ordering all federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to publish their audited financial statements in line with the provisions of the FRA. This, we believe, will promote transparency and deter public officers from further acting corruptly.


Victor Agi

Public Relations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *