President Tinubu promises CBN forensic audit, civil service payroll overhaul

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has said that a comprehensive forensic audit of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is underway, while a thorough overhaul of the civil service payroll is imminent.

The president disclosed this during an audience with the President of the World Bank, Mr Ajay Banga at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said, ”A comprehensive forensic audit is on-going at the Central Bank. We are going to do very serious structural review of the civil service payroll. I can’t believe in the numbers I’m seeing and I’ve had that experience before at the state level.

”The reforms are in tandem with Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business programme. We’ll block all financial loopholes. The reforms will be targeted at the way we work, change of attitude and equally on educating our people. It’s costly but we will do it.”

Highlighting Nigeria’s resilience and intellectual prowess, the president implored the Bretton Woods institution to view the country as a significant player within the global community, not solely as a struggling economy.

‘‘We stand as a vibrant and educated society, seeking to avert chaos through strategic interventions. Your proactive engagement aligns with our quest for partnership, and together, we shall pursue mutual benefits that enrich us all,’’ he said.

On poverty alleviation, the president called for more increased support from the World Bank, expressing optimism for a productive collaboration between Nigeria and the World Bank that would lead to mutual benefits and sustainable progress.

He also discussed the ongoing efforts to address issues such as subsidy removal, foreign exchange mismanagement, exchange rates, inflation, liquidity and debt management.

Tinubu shared insights into his administration’s substantial reforms, including those aimed at consolidating improvements in Nigeria’s oil industry, enhancing the Ease of Doing Business, and prioritising security to boost the country’s revenue generation.

He pointed out the importance of electricity generation for economic development, highlighting the turning of sod earlier today on the first phase (350MW) of the 1,350MW power generation project in Gwagwalada, Abuja.

He explained that this project signifies the administration’s commitment to a comprehensive approach, which encompasses power generation, distribution, energy transition and tariff adjustments.

While calling for a positive partnership with the World Bank, Tinubu emphasised key areas of focus, including job creation, digitisation and National Identity Management.

He also requested the World Bank’s support in addressing the challenges posed by the removal of cross-sectoral subsidies, particularly in lessening the impact on the less-privileged Nigerians.

In his remarks, Banga commended the president for his efforts in addressing the economic challenges of the country.

”Yes, we give money and our dollars are very important but where we are really helpful is our expertise and knowledge and our experience from many markets.

“In that way, we will always be your friend and partner, not just with the money, but with our minds and our hearts and you should be rest assured about that,” he said