The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to several comments in the public domain insinuating that the CBN neither audits its accounts annually nor presents same to the Government of the Federation, in line with statutory requirements.
It is also being suggested that membership of the CBN Board of Directors is dominated by appointees from within the staff of the institution. The misrepresentation is that the CBN Board actually has only two (2) external and five (5) internal members.
In view of the weighty implications of these misrepresentations, it has become necessary to put the records straight.
1. CBN’s Annual Accounts
The financial year of the CBN ends on the 31st of December of each year and the audited annual accounts is usually ready in February in line with the provisions of Section 50 (1) of the CBN Act. No 7 of 2007.
It is important to state that for the preparation of its annual accounts, the CBN employs the services of two international reputable accounting firms (among the big 8), based on the approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Upon the completion of the audit exercise, the Bank makes the accounts available to the Presidency and to the National Assembly through the latter’s relevant Committees. In addition, the CBN is audited by the Auditor-General of the Federation and appears before the Public Accounts Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives to answer questions arising from the report.
The CBN has never been in default of these provisions and has been diligent in compliance since the passage of the Act. Similarly, the CBN has always forwarded each year, seven (7) copies each of the Audited Accounts and Management Letters to both the Auditor General of the Federation and the Accountant–General of the Federation. Letters of acknowledgement in this relevant matter are usually published in national dailies.
2. Composition of the CBN Board of Directors
It is pertinent to note the following:
a. Sections 6 (1) and (2) of the CBN Act 2007, provide for twelve (12) members of the Board; five (5) internal and seven (7) external. The Governor and the four (4) Deputy Governors comprise the internal membership. There are seven (7) external non-executive members, among who are two (2) institutional members.
b. Consistent with the provisions of the CBN Act 2007, the non-executive members constitute a clear majority of the Board of the CBN.
c. All members of the CBN Board are appointees of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and are confirmed by the Senate. They conduct themselves with the requisite sense of responsibility
d. The CBN Board is dominated by appointees from outside the Bank, who are appointed in strict compliance with the provisions of the CBN Act. As a responsible, accountable and transparent public institution, we wish to reiterate that the CBN has always been, and remains, committed to discharging its mandate diligently.
We therefore wish to use this medium to totally refute this misrepresentation and to disabuse the minds of the public and other relevant stakeholders.
Ugochukwu A. Okoroafor
Director, Corporate Communications Department