CBN Discovers Forex Market Infractions, Vows Sanctions Against Abusers

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has uncovered significant infractions, gross abuses, and non-compliance with foreign exchange market regulations, prompting the apex bank to declare its commitment to imposing sanctions on those responsible.

The revelations emerged approximately six months after the CBN removed the rate cap on the exchange rate and implemented measures aimed at unifying the exchange rate.

In a statement by the CBN Acting Director of Communication, Mrs. Sidi Ali, the apex bank affirmed its determination to collaborate with relevant agencies in punishing those found guilty of the identified abuses. The move comes amid concerns over the depreciation of the naira and the exacerbation of inflation following the CBN’s decision to lift the exchange rate cap.

READ ALSO: CBN Assures Safety of Funds After Union, Keystone Banks Takeover Rumours

The CBN spokesperson disclosed that the bank, in an effort to address the backlog of outstanding foreign exchange liabilities, has already paid around $2 billion across various sectors, including manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum. The bank has also settled the entire liability of 14 banks and initiated settlements with foreign airlines.

Mrs. Ali revealed that an independent forensic review of the process has been commissioned by a reputable firm, which uncovered gross abuses and non-compliance with market regulations. She emphasized that the CBN is committed to cleansing the financial services sector and building trust among market participants and stakeholders.

READ ALSO: CBN Assures Safety of Funds After Union, Keystone Banks Takeover Rumours

Despite the identified infractions, the CBN reiterated its commitment to settling legitimate foreign exchange backlogs, as it has consistently done in the past three months. The ongoing efforts by the CBN aim to relieve the pressure on the country’s exchange rate and enhance investor confidence in the Nigerian economy.

Previously, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) initiated a probe into alleged preferential allocations of forex to Dangote Group and 51 other companies. The EFCC visited the headquarters of Dangote Industries Limited in Lagos as part of the investigation, directing 52 companies to provide documents supporting the allocation and utilization of foreign exchange sold to them at official rates between 2014 and June 2023.

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