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Central Bank of Nigeria’s Staff Loans Surge to N40.67bn in 2022, a 133.07% Increase from Previous Year

In a recent announcement, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revealed that it disbursed loans amounting to N40.67 billion to its staff members by the end of December 2022. The surge in staff loans was highlighted in the apex bank’s audited financial statement for the year.

The report indicated a substantial growth of 133.07% from the N17.43 billion loans issued in 2021 to the significant figure of N40.67 billion in 2022. Despite the substantial increase, the CBN did not furnish specific details regarding the number of employees who availed themselves of the loans.

The CBN’s website did provide some insights into the bank’s staffing, stating, “From a bank-wide staff strength of 10,000 staff, excluding the over 2,000 casuals in the HQ and branches as of 1999, the bank operates with a substantially reduced staff strength of 4,914 by December 2005, further down from 6,119 as of December 2004. It should be noted further that 79 percent of current staff are now professionals.”

Surprisingly, this marked uptick in staff loans occurred despite the allocation of N155.63 billion for staff allowances in the year 2022. These allowances encompassed various categories such as furniture, housing, leave, transport, productivity allowances, and other forms of compensation disbursed to staff during the reporting period.

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Curiously, the total amount disbursed as staff allowances exceeded the CBN’s recorded profit for the same period. Notably, the staff allowances figure surpassed the bank’s profit of N65.63 billion by a margin of N90 billion. This figure was also 37.2% higher than the N113.35 billion expended on staff allowances in the preceding year, 2021.

Further analysis by experts at The PUNCH newspaper revealed that the CBN had devoted a substantial N1.2 trillion to personnel costs over a span of seven years, with the bank recording a net income of N520.04 billion.

A comprehensive review of the apex bank’s audited financial statements over the seven-year period spanning 2016 to 2022 underscored a noteworthy pattern of fluctuation in its profits. During this period, staff emoluments experienced a steady ascent of 119%. The consolidated and separate statements of accounts elucidated that profits had experienced a sharp decline from N124.47 billion and N107.39 billion in 2016 and 2017, respectively, to N43.77 billion in 2018.

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This downtrend continued with profits falling further to N34.63 billion and N30.81 billion in 2019 and 2020 before witnessing a resurgence to N75.12 billion in 2021. Remarkably, the CBN reported a significant leap in its profit for the year 2022, with a noteworthy figure of N103.85 billion. Throughout this seven-year period, staff emoluments consistently escalated, with expenditures on personnel costs ascending from N121.23 billion in 2016 to N265.87 billion in 2022.

The recently released financial results were endorsed by the suspended governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, and audited by renowned firms Ernst & Young and KPMG. Notably, the report highlighted a substantial increase in credit loss expenses for the banking regulator, surging from N498.2 billion in 2021 to N875.2 billion in 2022.*

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