CBN To Take Legal Action Over ‘Stolen’ N500 billion Allegation

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to take a legal action over the N150 billion reported to have been stolen from its coffers, insisting the money wasn’t stolen but given to states as part of a N650 billion loan.

In an audiotape of a conversation which was leaked on Sunday; the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele; his deputy, Adamu Lamatek, and other top officials of the bank were heard having a conversation about how to reconcile the apex bank’s balance sheet.

In a statement released by the bank on Sunday, the CBN said: “As publicly known 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 Nigerians 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% 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.

“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 apex bank said it resolved the matter by approaching the ministry of finance.

“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.”

The apex bank said it would ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Samson Oyedeyi

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