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Why CBN Refuses To Validate $2.4 Bn Claims

 Olushola Bello

  …claimants may Face EFCC, other security agencies

 • Several FX requests were fraudulent, made with invalid, illegal documents

 Those making claims on foreign exchange to the tune of $ 2.4 billion which the Central Bank of Nigeria has not been able to validate may face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies to prove the validity of their claims.

 This is because security agencies are already investigating the questionable allocation of forex to such people agitating for such money.

 The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso at a press conference after 294th Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday, in Abuja, revealed that security agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are currently investigating questionable foreign exchange allocations and forward contracts previously estimated at $2.4bn.

 According to him, the development followed the conclusion of the audit of $7bn dollar debts inherited from the last administration of the apex bank.

 He said: “The new administration of the apex bank had engaged a global firm, Deloitte, to audit the $7bn debts.”

 The CBN governor had long before said about $2.4bn FX allocations from the $7bn backlogs were invalid.

 Throwing more lights on the issue while speaking with journalists shortly after the 294th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja on Tuesday, the CBN governor disclosed that security agencies were investigating the FX transactions that had been declared invalid by the audit report.

 He said the bank also provides the necessary documents to help the investigation.

 The CBN boss said law enforcement authorities were focused on unraveling issues around foreign exchange transactions that did not meet the standards of the regulatory agency

 He stated that the report of Deloitte consultants revealed that the majority of the transactions did not meet the criteria for payment.

 “The lack of valid documentation, among other infractions and discrepancies are revealed in the audit report.

 The CBN chief detailed several anomalies, including the allocation of millions of dollars to fictitious entities, and the provision of FX allocations without the corresponding naira value.

 While emphasising the gravity of the irregularities, he described the numerous foreign exchange transactions under investigation as “clearly unlawful.”

 “Recall that when we came in September, we had a backlog of forward transactions that were contractual in nature and had already been contracted before we came in. It was clear to us that in the interest of the credibility of the central bank, which then was very much in question, we were able to satisfy and take care of these forwards.

 “And I said it would be a priority to ensure that we take care of these forwards within the resource constraints we had. And that was why, I regularly, tried to address the issue with the press and be transparent as possible to allow Nigerians to know exactly where we stood and what were doing.

 businessstandardsng.com/Olusola Bello – A strategic  cross-reporting initiative.

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