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CBN Reacts to Alleged Stolen Money from Apex Bank’s Coffers

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Mr Isaac Okoroafor, director, Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said that no money is missing or stolen from the bank’s coffers as reported in some section of the media.

 

Okoroafor said this in a statement on Sunday while reacting to a recent article and audio clips in which the CBN Governor and other senior officials were heard discussing discrepancies in the bank’s accounts.

 

Okoroafor said that the audio was distorted in a manner which creates a different impression of the matter being discussed, which was to proffer solutions to a misunderstanding that affected the Bank’s balance sheet.

 

“As publicly known the CBN was approached in 2015 by the National Economic Management Team and the National Economic Council chaired by the Vice President, to assist State Governments with Conditional Budget Support.

 

“This happened 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.

 

“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,” he said.

 

Okoroafor urged Nigerians to disregard the audio and continue to trust that the Bank is doing everything it could 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 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,” he said.

 

 

 


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E-Financial

Reps to Grill Banks, Others over $30Bn Forex Racketeering

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House of Representatives has summoned 24 banks and 14 oil companies over an alleged forex racketeering leading to an annual loss of over $30bn as revenue.

Reps to Grill Banks, Others over $30Bn Forex Racketeering

The Joint House of Representatives Committee on Finance; and Banking and Currency will today begin an investigative hearing.

Those appearing before the committee are to explain their roles in the alleged over $30bn revenue leakages arising from oil revenue interest payment on account of foreign currency dominated contracts by companies in engineering, procurement, construction, installation and marine transportations.

According to the committee, which is jointly chaired by James Faleke (Finance) and Victor Nwokolo (Banking and Currency), the investigative hearing would be conducted in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. The committee said the hearing would be conducted in phases, with the first phase lasting three weeks.

The banks summoned by the committee are Unity Bank, Stanbic IBTC, United Bank of Africa, Polaris Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Keystone Bank, FBN Merchant Bank, Access Bank, Bank of Industry, Jaiz Bank, Coronation Merchant Bank, SunTrust Bank, Union Bank, CitiBank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Ecobank, First Bank of Nigeria, FSDH Merchant, Sterling Bank, Zenith Bank, Wema Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Heritage Bank.

The oil firm are Nigeria Agip Exploration, Nigeria Agip Oil Company, PAN Ocean Oil Nigeria Limited, Shell Nigeria Exploration & Producing Company Limited, Esso Exploration & Producing Nigeria Limited, Mobil Producing Nigeria Limited, Statoil Company Limited, and Shell Petroleum Development Company.

Others are Star Deep Water Petroleum Nigeria Limited, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, Total Upstream  Nigeria Limited, Sterling  Oil Exploration  Energy Limited, Addax Petroleum  Development Company Limited, and Addax  Exploration Limited.

The House had on March 5, 2020, resolved to investigate the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Inland Revenue Service over alleged racketeering in the allocation of foreign exchange to companies.

The House, which said the leakages were causing the Federal Government to lose revenue worth over $30bn, had also resolved to probe commercial banks, forex dealers, importers and beneficiary companies.

 


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Fidelity Bank Appoints Mustafa Chike-Obi Chairman

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Mustafa Chike-Obi has been appointed as the chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc, following the retirement of Ernest Ebi who has completed his tenure in line with the bank’s internal governance policy.

Fidelity Bank Appoints Mustafa Chike-Obi Chairman

Mustafa Chike-Obi

In a statement, the bank also announced that Seni Adetu, an independent non-executive director, has completed his tenure too.

Ebi, who was appointed chairman of the bank in 2016, recently celebrated his 70th birthday.

His successor, Chike-Obi, is currently the executive vice-chairman at Alpha African Advisory.

Chike-Obi was also the first chief executive officer of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), an institution established to resolve the problem of non-performing loan assets of Nigerian banks after the 2008 global financial crisis.

“He has over 40 years of experience in investment banking and the financial services sector, working with reputable global investment banking and asset management firms,” the bank said, referring to Chike-Obi.

“He provides overall leadership at Alpha African Advisory and has direct oversight over the capital raising division.”

Commenting on the bank’s status during his exit, Ebi said: “I feel that the management team has consolidated on our plans to become one of the fastest-growing banks in the country strongly rooted in technology only comparable with the best in the world.

“I am confident that my successor will continue on that path to take the bank to its next stage of growth and advancement. I wish my successor, the management team, and the entire staff of Fidelity Bank the very best for continued success.”

Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank’s CEO, also commended the contributions of the outgoing board members, saying the bank has benefited immensely from their experiences and looked forward to continuing the bank’s upward growth trajectory with the incoming chairman-designate.

The bank said Ebi will continue in the role until the incoming chairman steps in.

Chike-Obi holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Lagos (first class honors) and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


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CBN Debits Banks N1.977.7trn to Tightens Liquidity

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has debited close to N2 trillion from several banks in the last quarter in line with its Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) compliance requirement, and this has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

CBN Debits Banks N1.977.7trn to Tightens Liquidity

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

Many banks in the country, now have billions of their customers’ debits sterilised for the sake of CRR compliance.

The cash reserve requirement is the minimum amount banks are expected to leave retained with the Central Bank of Nigeria from customer deposits.

In January, the CRR was increased by five per cent to 27.5 per cent by the CBN Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who explained that the decision was intended to address monetary-induced inflation whilst retaining the benefits from the CBN’s LDR policy.

Recall that in January 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised the Cash Reserve Ratio by five per cent to 27.5 per cent.

The move shocked bankers who had expected the CBN to taper down on its tight monetary policies considering the economic headwinds. This was very well before the COVID-19 virus exploded worldwide.

In April, the apex bank debited 29 banks the sum of N1, 469,179,201,591.39 trillion with Zenith Bank accounting for N355.9 billion, UBA: N204.7 billion; First Bank: N206.1 billion and Stanbic IBTC: N143.9 billion of the total fine.

The CBN followed this up in June again, debiting 26 banks to the tune of N459.7bn for failure to meet their CRR obligations.

Among the banks that were most affected are United Bank for Africa Plc (N82.3 billion), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd (N59.3), Zenith Bank Plc (N50 billion), First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited (N45 billion), and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (N40 billion).

In its latest sanction, 14 banks were debited to the tune of N118bn, the lowest in three months. Sadly, this move, in addition to similar policies by the CBN, has left many banks cash-strapped and unable to pursue various profitable ventures.

According to data sourced from the CBN’s official website, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank got the highest debits of N15bn apiece, while Union Bank of Nigeria Plc was debited N12.5bn, and FBN was debited N12.4bn.

Fidelity Bank Plc, Citibank, FCMB were debited NN11bn, N10.2bn, N10bn respectively. Meanwhile, among the five biggest banks, Access Bank got the least sanction with a debit of N3bn in July followed by Zenith Bank Plc’s N7bn.


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