10 Curious Points You Must Not Ignore While Reading The CBN Report By The Financial Reporting Council – Omojuwa

Feb. 23, 2014

  1. Based on the allegations raised, the suspended Central Bank Governor has a case to answer and he MUST as a matter of expediency state his own side of the issue. This should not be up for debate.
  2. The report was prepared by The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), formerly the Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB). The council operates under the Ministry of Trade and Investment. The Ministry of Trade and Investment has a Minister who is subjected to the President of Nigeria. Essentially, the President himself might as well have prepared the report. It is like being a judge in one’s own case.
  3. The report repeated the same lines over and again. The 13 pages could easily have been two pages. May be those who prepared it felt repeating the accusations will make the number of accusations increase. Or repetition would make them believe their own report. One sensible way they could have increased the size of the report would have been to at least quote parts of the report of the referred joint auditors that suggest they DID NOT certify that the accounts give a true and fair view of the financial position of the CBN. The FRC stated their opinion was carefully crafted and was capable of deceiving the uninformed but the FRC could have helped the President better by at least quoting some of that “well crafted” opinion. May be they left it out to avoid the situation of that single line deceiving the President too?
  4. The report failed to mention the increase (or decrease) in income generated by the Central Bank in the period under review. They failed to tell the President in their reporting whether the Central Bank was remitting less money into the Federation account since the advent of the Sanusi Lamido administration or it was remitting less. They should have stated this. Not stating it should get one curious.
  5. According to the report, the Central Bank of Nigeria never did anything right with its financial reporting. This is interesting because one would assume that even the daftest of thieves would at least cover his/her tracks a little. It is either the suspended Central Bank Governor was naïve in never ensuring at least one thing was done right with the CBN’s financial reporting or the report of the Financial Reporting council of Nigeria had an intent from the beginning; nail Sanusi Lamido Sanusi by all means. One of my suggestions on this note is certainly likely to be true. Make your own decision.
  6. The report while speaking of some expenses made sure not to state that the expenses mentioned were likely to have catered for the Central Bank headquarters in Abuja, its regional offices across the federation and all the other offices located in all the states of the Federation. The Central Bank has a presence in all the states of the federation. Its budget covers all these states. Surely, this should have been stated in a report that sought to clear the air on financial recklessness or otherwise. May be the report had a clear intent from the get go. Like reporting to a charge, “Get me a Financial recklessness report on Sanusi’s CBN!”
  7. The report suggested the investigation into the allegations could not be carried out with the CBN Governor and his Deputy Governors allowed to continue in office. Curiously though, the President suspended only the Governor. Are we missing something here? This is of course not emphasizing that the Deputy Governors be suspended, it is only stating that surely Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was the specific target all along.
  8. The report was sent to the President 7th June 2013. The president ended up suspending the Governor on the 20th of February 2014. Why did the President wait for so long? Could it be because the CBN Governor refused to keep quiet about what he thought was the administration’s continued mismanagement of the economy? Was the straw broken when Sanusi Lamido finally dared the Oil cabal? Or could it be that the President decided he had to make the illegal move of suspending the Governor seeing as even if the courts find it illegal, Nigeria’s slow grinding court system would have ensured that with the tenure of the Governor ending only months later, the court ruling would have little or no effect on a CBN led by Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
  9. The Financial Reporting Council let down its guard in its conclusion by finally giving an indication of the purpose of the report. It mentioned in its second bullet point “for political reasons.” Is a report that ought to be objective, based on facts and figures allowed to subjectively refer to “political reasons” as one of the reasons the President must act? This is probably arguably one of the most curious parts of the report.

10. The suspended Central Bank Governor no doubt has a case to answer based on this report, spurious or not. The Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria under the supervision of the Mr. Olusegun Aganga’s Ministry of Trade and Investment certainly has a report that puts its independence on the issue in doubt. That’s expected, it derives its budget from the Presidency. It is an organ of the presidency.

Conclusion: It is impossible not to look at these issues altogether and not see that our country continues to be run like a Primary School Pupil’s club. Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison Madueke who could easily be assumed to be Nigeria’s de facto President openly stated on national television that she disregarded a Presidential directive that has since amongst other scams cost the country about $20 billion yet no questions have EVER been asked of her despite these and several other allegations. We see again and again that the Petroleum cabal is bigger than Nigeria and this will remain as long as the Jonathan administration, now globally renowned for its corruption, continues to hold sway.

God bless the patience and the looking-up-to-God energy of the people of Nigeria. Amen.

You can download the report of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and the Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s Memorandum submitted to the National Assembly on Non-Remittance of Oil Revenue below.

This is Japheth Omojuwa | @omojuwa