Politics

BREAKING: Why Auditor-General asks CBN to account for $4.5bn missing from foreign reserves

The Auditor-General of the Federation, Shaaka Chira, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for an explanation for a missing $4.5 billion fund.

According to an audit report from the Office of the Accountant General, the sum was unaccounted for in Nigeria’s foreign reserves between 2018 and 2019.

The yearly audit report provides comprehensive information about the spending and financial affairs of the various ministries, departments, and agencies under the government in a fiscal year.

According to the report, the country’s foreign reserves, which stood at US$42,594,842,852.75 in December 2018, decreased to US$38,092,720,200.72 in 2019. By a simple calculation, US$4,502,122,652.03 could not be accounted for.

The violation occurred following the COVID-19 outbreak, during the tenure of Godwin Emefiele, the former governor of the bank who is presently facing allegations of corruption in court.

Chira has now urged CBN to offer explanations for the sum.

The audit report, stressing that the stability of the exchange rate may be jeopardised if the apex bank fails to justify the fund, stated: “This violates Section 25 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007, mandating the bank to endeavour to maintain external reserves at levels considered to be appropriate for the economy and the monetary system of Nigeria.”.