Nigeria’s CBN to sanction fraudulent forex claims, governor says


ABUJA, Feb 9 – Nigeria’s central bank governor Olayemi Cardoso said on Friday that entities involved in fraudulent foreign exchange trades would be punished, after an audit helped whittle down a backlog of claims for payment to a “more manageable figure.”

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A forensic audit of $7 billion of overdue forex backlogs the bank has been struggling to clear had uncovered irregularities affecting $2.4 billion worth of the transactions.
The irregularities ranged from missing paperwork to non-existent entities and beneficiaries receiving unauthorised foreign exchange allocations.

“A lot has been asked with respect to those that are within the infracted category, which we are looking at very closely. Those who are responsible will be sanctioned accordingly,” Cardoso told lawmakers on Friday at a parliamentary hearing.

Africa’s largest economy is experiencing a crippling dollar shortage that has pushed its currency to record lows in recent weeks, though Cardoso said on Tuesday that dollar liquidity has started to improve.

Central bank Deputy Governor Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, also at the hearing, added that the bank is working with law enforcement for further action against the offenders.
So far, about $2.5 billion of the backlog across sectors such as aviation, energy and manufacturing has been paid, leaving a balance of $2.2 billion.

Cardoso said the bank had already moved towards settling a substantial number of outstanding forex backlogs. He did not elaborate.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samson
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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