Audit of Nigerian banks: 10 done, 13 more to be verified

Source: Daniel Nonor (Email [email protected]) - Ghanaian Chronicle

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about a fortnight ago moved to inject N400 billion into five banks in that country, following findings after an audit of some 10 banks out of the 24 earmarked to be audited by the Central Bank.

Following the audit exercise conducted by the CBN's examiners, it was discovered that five of the banks had accumulated margin loans of N500 billion, among other loans that had gone bad, and eroded their shareholders' funds.

The CBN however axed the chief executive officers (CEOs) and executive directors of the affected banks, in a move the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, explained, was to safeguard the financial sector from systemic collapse.

The affected institutions were Intercontinental Bank Plc, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Oceanic International Bank Plc, Finbank Plc and Afribank Plc.

The banks that were cleared in the first audit report include First Bank, UBA Plc, GT Bank, and Diamond Bank

The 13 banks, whose records are yet to be verified, include Zenith Bank, Ecobank, First City Monument Bank, Stabic/IBTC Bank, Fidelity Bank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB.

Others are Access Bank, Skye Bank, Wema Bank, Unity Bank, Nigeria International Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Meanwhile, thisday reported that a group calling itself, Unity Forum, a coalition of former ministers and retired permanent secretaries from the north, has called on the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, to immediately complete the auditing of other banks in Nigeria, to enable Nigerians with deposits in these banks, know the status of their banks.

In a statement signed by the Chairman of the group, retired Permanent Secretary Maigida Abdu, the Unity Forum described recent developments within the banking sector as an “elixir needed to stamp out management recklessness, manipulation, concealment and in some cases, outright doctoring of the books, as has become the hallmark of many a banks,” stating that a successful completion of the reforms, would restore confidence and reassure depositors and investors alike, in order to avoid a systemic crash.