The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has published its financial statements for the last seven years, marking the first time since 2015 that the apex bank has made its books available for public scrutiny.
The CBN declared a profit after tax of N103.8bn in 2022, up from N75.13bn reported a year earlier.
The CBN also revealed that it owes JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs a combined sum of $7.5bn as of the financial year ended December 2022.
The apex bank stated that it owes Goldman Sachs $500 million and JP Morgan $7 billion in what it classified as securities lending.
Securities lending is a financial transaction in which one party, the lender, temporarily transfers securities to another party, the borrower, in exchange for cash. The borrower then uses the cash to invest in other assets, with the promise to return the securities to the lender at a later date.
The CBN’s securities lending transactions with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are part of its efforts to manage its foreign exchange reserves. The apex bank has been under pressure to defend the value of the naira, which has been under pressure in recent years due to a number of factors, including low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CBN’s decision to publish its financial statements is a positive step towards transparency and accountability. It is also a sign that the government is committed to fighting corruption.
President Bola Tinubu has appointed Jim Obazee as a Special Investigator to probe the activities of the CBN and other related entities.
Obazee is a former chairman of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN). He is also a former director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Tinubu said that the appointment of Obazee was in furtherance of his administration’s anti-corruption fight.
The CBN probe is part of a wider investigation into corruption in Nigeria. In recent months, the government has arrested a number of high-profile figures, including former governors and ministers.
The government’s anti-corruption campaign is being closely watched by the international community. Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.
The government’s efforts to fight corruption are seen as a key test of its commitment to good governance.