By Temitope Adebayo
Federal Government yesterday said the report of audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by a Special Investigator would be out soon, admitting that most of the problems confronting Nigeria were caused by bad governance.
The FG, however, scored the administration of President Bola Tinubu high for his sound decision to audit the apex bank through a Special Investigator.
Tinubu in a letter dated July 28, 2023, named the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Jim Obazee, as Special Investigator for the CBN.
The President had asked the Special Investigator to investigate CBN and key government business entities, adding that the investigator would report directly to the President’s office.
The letter read: “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.”
But answering questions from journalists during a press conference in Abuja ahead of the country’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and former Governor of Benue State, George Akume, said Nigerians would know what really went wrong and what brought the country to its present situation.
He said: “Most of these problems confronting us are because of bad governance. The present government has confronted, and is confronting, these challenges. When President Bola Tinubu came on board, he made a very sound decision at the CBN.
”That singular act led to the massive improvement in the capital market; as experts have told us, it is something that can never happen in the past 15 years.
“We have a new team at the CBN and a Special Investigator has been in the CBN for sometime 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.”
According to him, no world leader had been invited for the Independence Day anniversary scheduled for October 1, saying the decision was taken in line with FG’s option for a low-key celebration.
He noted: “Low key 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 in a 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 with the country 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 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.
“It is for this reason that this government led by His Excellency, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, is anchoring on the Renewed Hope Agenda which will improve food security; guarantee end to poverty; improve security; economic growth and job creation; access to capital; improve the playing field on which people and particularly companies operate; respect for the rule of law; and fight against corruption.”