CBN uncovers fresh $2.4 billion foreign exchange scam

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Yemi Cardoso, says that law enforcement agencies are investigating foreign exchange forwards valued at approximately $2.4 billion.

Speaking at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, March 26, Cardoso noted that these transactions are deemed ineligible for payment.

The CBN governor revealed the forensic audit conducted on these transactions uncovered numerous discrepancies and rendered them invalid.

“In the cause of that forensic audit, we determined that a number of these transactions did not qualify. In some cases, you had some requests, which well you actually had some allocations that were made in millions of dollars, which were never requested for,” Cardoso said.

“You also had somewhere they had no Naira and they were also allocated, you know, huge sums, the foreign exchange and the list goes on and it was for that reason that we refused to validate those particular transactions.

“We refused to validate them because you know apart from the fact that documentation was not satisfactory in many cases they were outright illegal and the law enforcement agencies of course are now looking into those transactions that are as far as we’re concerned, not valid to be paid.”

Addressing concerns about potential backlogs among stakeholders, Cardoso maintained that the market remains open and transparent for them to address any outstanding contractual obligations.

However, the CBN has diligently verified and settled recognized backlogs of forward transactions.

Cardoso reiterated the CBN’s commitment to maintaining price stability and fighting inflation.

He stressed the need for strict adherence to the core mandate of the central bank, ensuring the restoration of the average Nigerian’s purchasing power.

Politics Nigeria earlier reported that the MPC announced a significant hike in the benchmark interest rate to 24.75 percent as part of efforts to curb inflation.

This decision, accompanied by adjustments to reserve requirements for banks, aims to tighten control over the money supply and stabilize prices.

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