‘CLEARING THE AUGEAN STABLE OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA – AN IMPERATIVE FOR OUR SOCIO-ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT’
Since the removal of the erstwhile Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, most Nigerians and critical players in the nation’s financial industry have renewed hope that the Government under his watch is determined to see through economic reform policies to heal the country’s ailing economy and bring us out the present economic duodenum. It is trite to emphasize that the CBN is strategic to actualising virtually all the set, reforms objectives of the government and the aspirations of the citizens for social reliefs from prevalent agonising economic pains, anguish, sufferings, and hardships the country is currently experiencing.
This task of cleansing the Central Bank’s Augean Stable is, however, extremely onerous especially when we consider revelations of illicit transactions, compromising sleaze, financial recklessness, and rudderless management in close to a decade reign of ex – Governor, Emefiele. This is why President Tinubu set up a Special Investigation Panel led by Jim Obazee to conduct a forensic audit of the account of the apex bank during the tenure of the former helmsman of the apex bank.
There are reports of clandestine as well as overt schemes by CBN cabals to frustrate the investigations of the Obazee led Investigation Panel. Preliminary reports filtering into the public domain, however, seem to show that there are lots of worms, maggots and poisonous vermis in the decadent cans of the CBN. Many top management officers of the Bank have been fingered in the various financial malpractices during this period. The detention of the former Director of Finance of the Central Bank, Benjamin Fakunle by the Department of State Security Services, DSS is pursuant to a crafty attempt by Emefiele led management to cover its tracks with a suspicious Audit Report. Obazee Panel has fingered improprieties in the seven-year financial account audit of the Bank which is alleged to have deviated from globally recognised, International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS. While Fakunle is also alleged to have paid a whooping N401 Million for the spurious audit document in violation of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria regulations.
This is just perhaps a tip of the iceberg of financial crimes committed by Emefiele led management team of the Central Bank. Most of which, with diligent investigations and prosecution constitute grave economic sabotage crimes against the nation and her citizens.
For us to comprehend the magnitude of the crimes committed by the CBN against the nation, we call into record the advisory of respected legal activist, Femi Falana, SAN to President Tinubu on empty federal treasury. Falana’s Low Hanging Fruits treaty offered a Twenty-Two (22) list of areas where the nation’s funds are cornered, awaiting the Federal Government’s summoning of requisite to access same. A former Editor of the PUNCH Newspapers, Bola Bolawole picked just Twelve (12) from Falana’s low hanging Fruits of the Federal Government’s Funds which an indolent, compromised Central Bank leadership left to fallow outside our national treasury. The sum total of these Twelve Items is N78 Trillion. Yet, President Buhari was busy borrowing to finance our annual National Budget of less than N22 Trillion!
If we just use the statistics of Mr. Femi Falana alone, it is clear that the resources of our great country in the hands of individuals, corporate cabals and even some compromised global institutions is sufficient enough for the government to address the infrastructural deficits afflicting the country. An Apex Bank that is up and doing in discharging its statutory responsibilities and patriotic duties would not have presided over a national economy that is prostrate, broke and insolvent. Funds that could have provided for social needs like sound transportation system – smooth road network, basic healthcare service, qualitative education for citizens, portable water, affordable housing, employment and security of lives and properties.
We unequivocally call on all anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlights on the operations of the Central Bank and its principal management officials during this period to fully account for dereliction of their financial, fiduciary responsibilities to the country and citizens. We are confident that the funds outside our national coffers are sufficient to provide the necessary financial sinew to kick start Nigeria socio economic transformation and much vaunted technological-industrial advancement.