CBN Governor Exposes $2.4 Billion Unsettled FX Claims, Highlights Fraudulent Practices

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In an exclusive interview with ARISE NEWS, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, disclosed that $2.4 billion of the reported $7 billion outstanding foreign exchange liabilities of the federal government are not valid for settlement. Cardoso mentioned that the bank has settled verified FX requests amounting to $2.3 billion, and the current total outstanding FX obligations stand at $2.2 billion. He emphasized the fraudulent nature of part of the outstanding claims, revealed through a forensic audit by Deloitte Management Consultant exposed fraudulent activities within the outstanding claims, including issues such as invalid import documents, non-existent entities, and discrepancies in requested amounts. Despite challenges, Cardoso expressed confidence in addressing the outstanding FX liabilities shortly.
CBN Governor clarified that a significant portion of the foreign exchange handled by International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) is not officially documented. He highlighted concerns regarding the unofficial nature of these transactions, emphasizing the importance of transparency and adherence to regulatory guidelines in the foreign exchange market.
Cardoso expressed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s commitment to addressing and regulating the flow of forex through IMTOs. He underscored the need for increased oversight to ensure that these operators comply with official channels, contributing to a more transparent and accountable foreign exchange system in the country.
In addition, Cardoso addressed concerns about the central bank’s interventions in the economy, emphasizing the need for well-thought-out measures to avoid destabilizing the economy. He noted that excessive liquidity injected into the economy had contributed to distortions, including inflation, and highlighted the CBN’s focus on its primary mandate of controlling inflation, stabilizing prices, and ensuring a stable economic environment.
Cardoso debunked claims of the federal government planning to convert domiciliary accounts to naira accounts and reiterated the CBN’s commitment to resolving outstanding liabilities. He stated that the bank had contracted Deloitte for a forensic audit to differentiate valid and invalid transactions, with a determination to pay all valid obligations.
The governor also explained the decision to reduce direct intervention in the economy, citing concerns about the impact of injecting large amounts of liquidity in a short time.Cardoso also said that the CBN lacked the capacity for direct interventions and would focus on its primary mandate of controlling inflation, stabilizing prices, and ensuring a stable economic environment. He emphasized the CBN’s commitment to partnering with entities capable of managing interventions effectively while aligning with the central bank’s objectives.
In conclusion, Cardoso expressed optimism in clearing the outstanding liabilities shortly, signaling a resolution to the challenges faced by the CBN in managing foreign exchange obligations and interventions in Nigeria’s economy.

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