N500bn: NECA, experts demand independent CBN audit

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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele

Financial and economic experts have demanded an independent audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria following the alleged missing of N500bn.

They made this call while speaking in exclusive interviews with our correspondents.

The Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, Mr Timothy Olawale, said despite the denial of the CBN that no N500bn was missing, there was still a need for due diligence to be followed, in unravelling the controversy surrounding it.

He specifically asked relevant government security and anti-graft agencies to look into the allegation to allay the fears of Nigerians on the alleged missing money.

He said, “Despite the denial of the CBN, there is still a need for due diligence to be followed in unravelling the controversy surrounding the alleged missing of N500bn. This is necessary in order to allay the fears of Nigerians on the issue.

“The relevant security and anti-graft agencies like Criminal Investigation Department and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must be brought in to unravel whatever gave rise to such an allegation. It is only then that Nigerians will know what is really happening.”

The Registrar, Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Eohoi, said while the apex bank boss had done a lot to stimulate the economy through various intervention programmes, there was a need for an independent audit of activities under his leadership.

This, he noted, would help to ensure that proper books of account were kept under the apex bank boss.

He said, “Every allegation is subject to investigations by the security agencies based on the fact that the current administration is fighting corruption.

“This is vital to clear the air for a better Nigeria. Someone can be investigated and not found culpable. If the tape is not to blackmail the CBN governor, then it should be investigated.

“The government should set up an audit panel to check what actually transpired at the CBN. The volume of money involved is huge and should not be swept under the carpet.

“At the Institute of Finance and Control, we stand for a sound financial control system. Finance should be well controlled that it would not lead to any misappropriation.”

A developmental economist, Odilim Enwangbara, said the allegations should not be dismissed based on the fact that it was coming at a time when the appointment of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, was being renewed for a second term.

He said, “Of course, the allegations should be investigated. The transaction involved should be looked into. It is not enough to say the allegation is not true. It should be looked at to determine what actually happened.

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