HomeBusinessNigeria’s Central Bank Refuses to Settle $2.4 Billion of Fraudulent FX Claims

Nigeria’s Central Bank Refuses to Settle $2.4 Billion of Fraudulent FX Claims

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Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) has announced that it will not pay off $2.4 billion worth of invalid foreign exchange (FX) backlog claims that were discovered after a forensic audit by Deloitte management consultants. The CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, revealed this in an exclusive interview with Arise News on Monday.

Cardoso said that the CBN inherited a total of $7 billion FX backlog from the previous administration, which was investigated to verify its validity. He said that the audit uncovered various irregularities, such as invalid import documents, non-existent entities, and beneficiaries who received more FX than they requested or did not request any at all.

“All of these amounted to about $2.4 billion invalid FX claims,” Cardoso said.

He added that the CBN had written to the concerned parties of the invalid claims, but most of them had not disputed them satisfactorily. He said that the CBN would not pay these claims as they were fraudulent and would amount to a waste of scarce resources.

“We have a responsibility to the Nigerian people to ensure that we manage the FX resources of the country prudently and judiciously,” he said.

Cardoso also said that the CBN had settled $2.3 billion FX requests and was working to clear the remaining $2.2 billion valid FX backlog. He said that the CBN was committed to ensuring a stable and transparent FX market that would attract more foreign investors and boost the economy.

He said that many foreign portfolio investors were interested in returning to the Nigerian market, as they had seen the positive impact of the reforms that the CBN had implemented. He cited the introduction of the Naira 4 Dollar scheme, which incentivizes remittances from Nigerians in the diaspora, as one of the measures that had boosted the FX supply and strengthened the naira.

He also said that the CBN was supporting domestic production and import substitution, as a way of reducing the FX demand and diversifying the economy. He said that the CBN had disbursed over N2 trillion to various sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, health, and entertainment, through its intervention funds.

He said that the CBN was confident that these efforts would lead to a more resilient and sustainable economy, that would not depend on oil revenues or external shocks.

“We are optimistic that Nigeria will emerge stronger from this challenging period, and we will continue to work with the government and the private sector to achieve our vision of a prosperous and inclusive nation,” he said.

Source: Business Day

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