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HomeNationalTinubu reviews document as CBN investigator submits interim report

Tinubu reviews document as CBN investigator submits interim report

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, has said the Federal Government will soon unveil the audit report of probe of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

President Bola Tinubu had on July 28, 2023, named a former Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as the Special Investigator for the CBN.

The President asked the special investigator to probe the CBN and key Government Business Entities, adding that the investigator would report directly to the President’s Office.

However, the SGF said on Monday that the probe report of the CBN, when made public, would reveal how poor governance brought the country to the present predicament.

 

Akume made the disclosure while fielding questions at a press conference in Abuja on the 63rd Independence anniversary of Nigeria.

According to him, the report will enable Nigerians to know what really went wrong and how the country got to its present situation.

He said, “Most of these problems confronting us are due to bad governance. The present government has confronted and is confronting these challenges. When President Bola Tinubu came on board, he took a very sound decision at the CBN. That singular act led to a massive improvement in the capital market, as experts have told us, it is something that has never happened in the past 15 years.

“We have a new team at the CBN and a special investigator has been in the CBN for some time now and his result will soon be released and Nigerians will know what really went wrong and what brought us to where we are today.”

Tinubu had in a letter dated July 28, 2023, asked Obazee, to ensure the probe revealed government funds in the hands of private individuals.

The letter, which was addressed to the special investigator, read in part, “In accordance with the fundamental objective set forth in Section 15(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), this administration is, today, continuing the fight against corruption by appointing you as a Special Investigator, to investigate the CBN and Related Entities. This appointment shall be with immediate effect and you are to report directly to my office.”

However, findings by The PUNCH revealed on Monday that Obazee had submitted an interim report to the President’s office over a week ago.

Multiple officials said the preliminary report was submitted for necessary action by the President.

“The CBN Special Investigator submitted a preliminary report to the President’s Office over a week ago. The investigation still continues but the preliminary report is meant to give the President an idea of what has been discovered so far,” a top official privy to the development told The PUNCH on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

It was learnt that the interim report would enable the president to take some key decisions that would help the country move forward.

Officials said the interim report led to the change of leadership at the CBN last week but this could not be independently verified as of press time.

The president and his team are said to be currently reviewing the report with a view to taking an appropriate decision on it soon.

The CBN special investigator had reportedly faulted the annual financial reports of the CBN which were recently released.

As a result, it was learnt the CBN might be asked to withdraw its audited annual financial reports.

In August, the CBN released its financial accounts for the years 2016 to 2022 amid an ongoing probe of the financial services sector regulator by a Special Investigator appointed by President Bola Tinubu.

SGF on independence

Meanwhile, the SGF said on Monday no world leader had been invited for the 63rd independence anniversary of Nigeria scheduled for October 1, saying the decision was taken in line with its option for a low-key celebration.

He said, “Low keyed celebration has nothing to do with whether we’re not doing well. Economic times are hard, we are looking at it not just at the national level but also as a family. We have not invited world leaders. During the inauguration of the President, 53 world leaders were invited, so we have not invited any world leader.

“As you are aware, the President has given his approval for this 63rd anniversary to be low-key in line with the present economic realities. The theme of the anniversary is “Nigeria @ 63, Renewed Hope for Unity & Prosperity.”

Speaking on national interest, he said, “We have all agreed to live a united peaceful, united, prosperous country, despite our diversity. Without these, no nation can move forward. Government is making sure our national interest is not undermined.”

According to him, the celebration is particularly important at this time having witnessed an unbroken democratic record since 1999 as well as the seamless, successful and peaceful presidential transition programme from one government to another.

The SGF said, “Despite political tremors and a wave of coups in some parts of the ECOWAS sub-region, Nigerians have fully embraced democracy with its core values and practices as the best form of governance. Democracy affords the citizens the opportunity through elective structures and processes to effectively participate in the affairs of their country.

“The relationship between the people and government in a representative democracy is symbiotic: while the citizens support the government, the government provides security, protects, and enhances their interests.

“The government is fully aware of the economic challenges that Nigerians are confronted with since the removal of the fuel subsidy as well as the impact of the global economic downturn. The government is working assiduously to provide the necessary palliatives so as to mitigate such challenges and also the provision of buses to ease hardship on transportation among others. At the same time, the government is engaging with labour in order to address areas of concern for the well-being of all Nigerian workers and Nigerians generally.

Among the programmes lines up for the event included an anniversary symposium/public Lecture, on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at State House Conference Center @ 10 am; lecture on Friday September 29 2023 at the National Mosque Conference Center by 10 am and Juma’at Prayer at the National Mosque at 1pm.

Akume also announced a presidential broadcast on Sunday, October 12023 at 7am; an inter-denominational church service on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at the National Christian Center at 10:00 am and a military parade on Monday, October 2 2023 at the Presidential Villa, at 9am.

“I therefore call on you as media professionals and patriots to support this administration and build workable partnership in order to transform our country into the land of our dream. Also, I count on you to publicise activities lined up to mark Nigeria’s 63rd Independence anniversary”, he said.

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