The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Sunday said no N500 billion kept in its custody was missing.
In a statement signed by the Director, Corporate Communications of the Bank, Isaac Okorafor, stated that contrary to what the contorted telephone conversation that is being circulated that the top management of the bank was engaged in a discussion on how to cover their track over the missing money, the discussion was actually on how to ascertain why the bank’s auditors took the decision.
The Apex bank explained that “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.
“Reconciliation of Balance Sheet items are regular conversations among senior management of many agencies and should not be misconstrued as anything but that. Had the online media which released the selective recordings sought the comments of CBN as required of journalism practice, we would have provided it,” the statement said.
Mr Okorafor further debunked the claims in the audio clips noting that “those who listened to the audio can easily ascertain that the conversation had nothing to do with anything fraudulent as purported.”
The Bank therefore urged Nigerians to disregard the audio tape and “continue to trust that the bank is doing everything it can to represent their interests in the best possible way.”