BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has described a report published by a national daily (not LEADERSHIP) last Monday suggesting that the apex bank’s financial support to the federal government had risen to N8.12 trillion in four years, as a calculated attempt by mischief makers to misinform the investing public and put the bank in bad light.
The story was headlined: “CBN’s life support to FG rises 780% to N8.12trn in 4yrs”.
On the contrary, the apex bank said that government was actually the net creditor to CBN in 2014, 2015 and 2017 to the tune of N2.14 trillion, N1.65 trillion and N0.36 trillion respectively. It added that the bank only credited N0.45 trillion to the federal government in 2016 and 2018.
In a statement it issued, the CBN maintained that “the story is not only false, but an attempt, through sheer mischief, to distort and misrepresent CBN’s financial operations and also to misinform the investing public on the financial health of our country.”
The apex bank added that the authors of the story conveniently restricted it only to CBN’s claims on the federal government while ignoring other numerous deposits of the government, including those of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the CBN in order to arrive at their plot.
The statement read in part: “As can be clearly deduced by any unbiased and informed analyst, when the claims of the federal government on CBN are netted against the claims of the CBN on the federal government, the resulting net positions indicate that the federal government was actually the net creditor to the CBN in 2014, 2015 and 2017 to the tune of N2.14 trillion, N1.65 trillion and N0.36 trillion respectively. On the other hand, the CBN was the net creditor to the federal government in 2016 and 2018 to the tune of N0.11 trillion and N0.34 trillion respectively.
“From the foregoing and the detailed database, it is clearly inappropriate to compare the position as at end-2018 with the position as at end-2014, ignoring the movements within the period.
“We wish, therefore, to reassure the investing community and the general public that the CBN remains faithful to its statutory mandate as banker and financial adviser to the federal government.”
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