The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has, at last, unveiled its long-anticipated audited accounts spanning seven years. The recently disclosed figures for the financial year concluding on December 31, 2022, indicate a significant milestone for the apex bank, with a profit after tax (PAT) of N103.8 billion. This impressive achievement reflects a remarkable 44 percent growth compared to the N75.1 billion realized in the preceding fiscal year of 2021.
Under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari and the stewardship of now-suspended Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the CBN’s financial records remained veiled from 2016 to 2022. However, recent developments, including President Tinubu’s call for an investigation into the operations of the Nigerian banking industry watchdog, might have catalyzed the release of the long-awaited financial statements.
The audited accounts underscore the CBN’s consistent display of financial resilience. Even during challenging economic periods, such as the recession in 2016 and 2020 under President Buhari’s tenure, the apex bank managed to record post-tax profits.
In 2022, the CBN achieved noteworthy financial benchmarks. The apex bank reported a net interest income of N1.8 trillion, a remarkable 80 percent surge compared to the N1 trillion recorded in the preceding year. Moreover, the net operating income showed an upward trajectory, reaching N1.2 trillion in 2022 compared to N1.1 trillion in the same period of 2021. Simultaneously, total operating expenses rose from N1.1 trillion in 2021 to N1.2 trillion in 2022, demonstrating the apex bank’s continued commitment to operational excellence.
Ways and Means, including loans and overdrafts extended to the federal government by the CBN, stood at N23.3 trillion, resulting in an interest income of N1.9 trillion for the apex bank. This figure marked a notable increase from the N1.2 trillion generated in the previous year. It’s noteworthy that while the CBN Act permits only 5 percent based on the FG’s revenues to the national treasury, the actual loan value had exceeded this benchmark.
Last year’s financial performance showcased the CBN’s diverse revenue sources. The apex bank earned an additional N247 billion and N156 billion through its engagement with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and via FGN Securities, respectively. Furthermore, an income of N422.7 billion was derived from “debt instruments measured at fair value through profit and loss (FVTL),” which reflects the bank’s current investments at prevailing market prices. The CBN also reported a notable N104.5 billion in income from commissions on foreign currency sales and related transactions.
Beyond its core functions, the CBN embraced a multifaceted approach to revenue generation. In the 2022 review period, the bank earned N15.9 billion from processing currency, Bureau de Change (BDCs) applications and registrations, commissions on fund transfers, and fees related to applications and licensing from other banks and financial institutions.
The release of the CBN’s audited accounts for the past seven years offers a unique insight into the financial resilience, strategic prowess, and adaptability of Nigeria’s apex bank. Amidst evolving economic dynamics and heightened scrutiny, the CBN’s remarkable financial performance is a testament to its commitment to financial stability, prudent management, and fostering economic growth in Nigeria.