CBN Refuses To Publish Annual Reports

Godwin Emefiele, governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


The Central Bank of Nigeria has not made public its annual reports since 2018, a move analysts say is aimed at concealing mismanagement at the top bank.

In gross contravention of its own laws, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has repeatedly failed to release its annual reports showing details of its operations and financial obligations.

Since 2005 when it started publishing details of its annual report on its website, the CBN never failed to publish the report until 2018 when it stopped the publication of the crucial documents.

According to the CBN Act 2007, the apex bank is expected to publish its report within two months after the end of each financial year.

“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,” the CBN Act reads in part.

“A report required to be submitted to the National Assembly and the President shall be published by the Bank in such 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.

“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,” the Act reads.

Analysts say that the failure of the CBN to publish the report could send wrong signals to investors and others interested in understanding the state of the economy.

In recent years, the CBN has faced criticisms regarding the management of the country’s economy.

Amid skyrocketed food prices and other inflationary pressures, the apex bank has kept the country’s interest rate at 11.5 percent since September 2020 when the CBN reduced the monetary policy rate from 12.5 percent.

The bank has also been struggled to ensure liquidity amid depleting reserves. It has also been criticised for its management of the naira and its controversial financing of the federal government’s deficits.

Paul Alaje, an economist and policy analyst, said that no one knows what the intention of the CBN is but publishing the annual reports would have helped the country to know its fiscal condition.

According to him, although some suggestions are left out during the monetary policy meetings, the report will be helpful for those who want to do further research.

“It is also setting our country back because if we don’t know what is obtainable in the past we may not know the kind of policy to apply in the future,” he said.

“Make the report public except and unless the CBN is saying there has been no activity within the institution for the period of time”.

The bank did not respond to an FOI filed by PREMIUM TIMES requesting details of the annual reports. Its spokesperson, Osita Nwasinobi, did not respond to calls seeking comment.

He criticised the CBN’s “massive injections of cash” to the government, accusing the bank of serving as a “piggy bank” for the government, against its own rules.

“Monetary data shows a sharp rise in the extent of CBN financing of the government deficit,” he had said.

According to the economist, beginning from 2016, the CBN had made cash available to the federal government running into trillions, mostly beyond legal thresholds.

He said the CBN’s claims on the federal government under the period amounted to N814 billion, which was “twentyfold higher” than what the law permits.

The CBN dismissed the claim at the time but has since continued to deploy the Ways and Means facility to finance the country’s deficit.




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