CSO sues CBN over failure to release breakdown of its 2022 budget

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A Civil Society Organization (CSO) known as Project 20 Million has dragged the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele over his failure to release the comprehensive and a total breakdown of the 2022 budget of CBN.

Also joined as respondent in the suit before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami.

The groups in an ex-parte application, brought pursuant to section 1(1),(2),(3) and 4(a), 7(1),(4)(5) are arguing that under the FOI Act, they have the right to request for or gain access to information, which is in the custody or possession of any public official, agency or institution.

The CSO, through its counsel, Chris and Lawticus had earlier made the request for the information under the Freedom Of Information (FOI) Act.

A copy of the document which was sighted on Friday was addressed to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on April 1st, 2022.

The document which was signed by its counsel, Bar. Babatunde Tijjani, was titled: “2022 BUDGET OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA: A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The document reads in part: “Our services have been retained and we now serve as counsel to Project 20 Million, a Civil Society group registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act and with the principal objective of promoting good governance and ensuring an improvement in the lives and livelihood of citizens”.

“Our client has informed us that it requests the following information from your office based on the 14 page Central Bank of Nigeria 2022 budget in line with the Freedom of Information Act. 2015;

a. With the projected Total income of N2, 181.64 billion in the Budget, what was the projected total income and actual total income for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

b. With the projected total expenditure of N2, 160.43 billion in the budget what was the projected total expenditure and actual total expenditure for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

c. What was the total general administrative expenses of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

d. What was the total operations expenses of the Central Bank for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

e. What was the projected and actual total interest on Foreign lnvestment for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

f. What was the projected and actual total interest on Domestic Investment for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

g. What was the projected and actual income from AMCON for each ot the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

h. What was the projected and actual interest on Domestic Loans and Advances for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

I. What was the projected and actual Exchange Commission/Exchange Gain on Interbank Foreign Exchange Market profit and loss for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

J. What was the projected and actual total Administrative expenses of the Central Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

k. What was the projected and actual Staff cost of the Central Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

L. What was the projected and actual total Liquidity Management cost (including investment in fixed assets) of the Central Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

m. What was the projected and actual total Strategic Initiatives cost of Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

n. With the projected surplus of N21.20 billion in the 2022 budget, what was the projected and actual surplus or deficit for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

o. With income from operational activities forming 39% of the income of the Central Bank of Nigeria, what percentage of the income of the bank did it form in each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

p. With interest on domestic investments forming 37% of the income of the Central Bank of Nigeria, what percentage of the income of the bank did it form in each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

q. Copies of the list and cost of all organizations for which Central Bank of Nigeria paid membership subscriptions for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

r. Copies of the receipts for the payment of electricity bills for years 2020 and 2021

s. What was the projected and actual total legal and professional fees expenses of the Central Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

t. What was the projected and actual total intervention projects expenses of the Central Bank of Nigeria for each of the years 2019, 2020 and 2021?

“Kindly note that by the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 2015 we are to receive access to the information requested for within 7 days. Note also that if at the expiry of the said time we do not receive any access to the information requested, our client may be at liberty without any further recourse to you to; Approach the Court for the an application seeking judicial review of the denial”, the document said.

Below are screen grab of the court’s document:

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