There has been quite a buzz lately about the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dropping a bombshell – it just released its annual audited financial statements, marking the first time since 2015 it will make its book available for public scrutiny.
According to the law, the apex bank is supposed to reveal its financial affairs within two months after the end of each financial year. But they have been lax about it. Now they just dropped the consolidated financial statements for not just one or two, but seven years – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
As expected, the report has people talking. Who would not be curious about the financial paradigm of the apex bank of Africa’s largest economy, especially considering the wild twists and turns it has taken in recent years?
Importantly, the CBN’s annual revelation of its financial cards is a big deal. It is not just about numbers, it is about keeping the economic engine running, building trust, and accountability. Here are some highlights from the CBN’s recently released financial statement.
The Group and bank recorded a post-tax profit of N103,854 million and N65,626 million respectively marking an increase from N75.1 billion and N31,044 million reported in the previous year. The apex bank achieved a net interest income of N1.8 trillion, a notable rise from N1 trillion in the previous year, indicating an impressive 80 per cent surge in net interest income.
Furthermore, a significant revenue stream comprised N104.5 billion in earnings from commissions related to foreign currency sales and other transactions. The CBN also generated N15.9 billion from currency processing, Bureau de Change applications and registrations, commissions on fund transfers, as well as fees from other banks and financial institutions for applications and licensing.
The results of the apex bank’s operations also demonstrated that it secured an additional N247 billion from AMCON and N156 billion through FGN Securities.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says staff allowances gulped N155.63 billion in 2022. This figure exceeded the expenditure of N113.35 billion allocated to staff allowances in 2021 by a notable 37.2 per cent.
According to the report, the staff allowances include furniture, housing, leave, transport, and productivity allowances paid to staff during the period.
Further checks of the financial statement show that the bank also spent the sum of N40.66 billion on staff loans in 2022. This represents a notable increase of 133.3 per cent compared to the N17.42 billion that was disbursed as staff loans in the year 2021. However, the CBN did not furnish specific information regarding the count of staff members who received the loan disbursement.
As of the conclusion of the financial year in December 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria had a combined debt of $7.5 billion to JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, categorizing these obligations as securities lending.
In the preceding year, the central bank’s liabilities to these international financial entities stood at N0.22 trillion ($500 million) owed to Goldman Sachs and N3.05 trillion ($7 billion) owed to JP Morgan.
The apex bank also owes N3.15 trillion ($6.3 billion) in foreign currency forward which are forex obligations it needs to make to foreign investors.
RT 200 and Naira4Dollar scheme
In 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria allocated N155.5 billion towards the implementation of the RT 200 and Naira4Dollar schemes, aimed at bolstering foreign exchange inflows.
However, the Bank stated it incurred N137 billion in 2022 on the RT200 scheme and in 2021 it incurred N4 billion as an expense for the Naira 4 Dollar scheme.
The two policies were devised to stimulate the inflow of foreign exchange, diversify the sources of FX inflow, increase the level of non-oil exports, ensure stability and sustainability of FX inflows, and support export-oriented companies to expand their export operations and capabilities.
However, these policies were abandoned after the announcement of the naira’s unification.
Ways and means
Through the mechanism of ways and means, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended a sum of N6.2 trillion to the federal government.
“Ways and Means” enables the government to secure short-term or urgent financing from the CBN to cover situations where anticipated government cash receipts have been delayed. But section 38 of the CBN Act limits the advance that the Bank can grant the federal government of Nigeria in a year to 5 per cent of the actual federal government revenue in the preceding year. However, the report revealed the limit was surpassed.
As a result, the federal government’s debt, which was initially at N17.1 trillion by the conclusion of 2021, experienced a significant 36% surge. This propelled the debt to N23.3 trillion by the culmination of the 2022 fiscal year.
The cumulative balances held in Nigeria’s central bank digital currency, eNaira, experienced a substantial upswing, reaching N2.5 billion in 2022. This marks a noteworthy surge from the N940 million reported in the previous year, denoting a remarkable year-on-year growth of 2.65 times.
Launched on October 25th, 2021, the eNaira is a Central Bank of Nigeria-issued digital currency that provides a unique form of money denominated in Naira and serves as both a medium of exchange and a store of value. It was part of the Central Bank’s commitment to enhancing financial inclusion, stimulating innovation, and bolstering efficiency within the Nigerian economy.
Given its initial sluggish adoption, the eNaira’s launch prompted the CBN to enact diverse incentives and regulations to boost its acceptance. For example, the CBN collaborated with multiple banks, fintech enterprises, and merchants to facilitate eNaira’s incorporation and utilization. Moreover, transaction fees for eNaira users have been waived until 2023, while a N50 million minimum capital prerequisite has been established for eNaira service providers.
The apex bank disclosed significant credit losses amounting to a substantial N875.2 billion, nearly doubling the N498.2 billion recorded in the preceding year.
Although the apex bank did not provide a detailed breakdown of those in default, its balance sheet does reveal an expansive loan portfolio valued at around N31.4 trillion.
A potential source of credit losses could be the Anchor Borrowers Programme, designed to finance agricultural activities in the nation.The CBN previously reported that N503 billion in loans were reimbursed, constituting 52.39% of the total loans extended to farmers through the program.