CBN Owes Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan $7.5bn, Releases Financials Amid Probe

CBN Owes Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan $7.5bn, Releases Financials Amid Probe

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Amid an investigation into the affairs of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the financial regulator has released seven years of the firm’s financial statements.

The CBN stopped publishing its report in 2016 after Godwin Emefiele became the governor of the apex bank, a decision that drew criticism and raise doubts about the transparency of the firm. 

CBN’s last publicly released annual financial statement was for the year 2015, however, on Thursday, the CBN released its 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 earnings records. 

In the financial statement covering 2022, the CBN revealed that profit after tax rose 38.16 per cent year-on-year from N75.13 billion in 2021 to N103.8 billion.

Also, the CBN disclosed in last year’s financial report that it is indebted to Goldman Sachs to the tune of $500 million and it owes JP Morgan $7 billion after exchanging its foreign securities for cash. 

“The Group entered into a securities lending agreement with Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan. As part of the agreement, the Group pledged its holdings on foreign securities in return for cash. The cash received from Goldman Sachs is N0.23tn ($500m), 2021: N0.22tn ($500m), and JP Morgan N3.23tn ($7bn), 2021: N3.05tn ($7bn) is recognised in other foreign securities,” the report reads. 

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The release of the results ends a seven-year secrecy around the CBN’s financial statement, as the decision not to release its earnings report violated the CBN Act 2007. 

According to the law guiding the CBN’s operation, it says: “The Bank shall, within two months after the close of each financial year, transmit to the National Assembly and the President a copy of its annual accounts certified by the Auditor. 

“A report required to be submitted to the National Assembly and the President shall be published by the Bank in such a manner as the Governor may direct 

“The Board shall ensure that accounts submitted pursuant to this section shall as soon as possible be published in the Gazette. 

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“The Bank shall as soon as may be practicable after the last day of each month makeup end publish a return of its assets and liabilities as at the close of business on that day, or if that day is a holiday, as at the close of business on the last preceding business day.” 

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had appointed Jim Obazee as Special Investigator to probe the affairs of the CBN under Emefiele before the apex bank governor was suspended.

Obazee, who was the former head of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). is expected to work with security agencies and submit a weekly report on his investigation to Tinubu.

Also, President Tinubu appointed Folashodun Shonubi as acting Governor of the CBN following the suspension of Emefiele, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

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