FOREX: CBN Slams Banks, Economic Saboteurs

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN at the weekend raised the alarm over some unnamed but powerful Nigerians it considered bent of sabotaging its effort to reposition the economy through its policies just as it cautioned banks on providing flawed FOREX rates to customers.

In separate press releases issued at the weekend and yesterday and signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, the apex bank said it had information that some fat cats were funding the push to have the government and CBN terminate the FOREX regime with the aim of creating panic in the financial system.

Okoroafor said, “ Self-centered individuals, who have failed to assail our patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of our policies.

“Intelligence reports at the disposal of the Bank reveal the involvement of some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the CBN and the Federal Government reverse its FOREX policy, which is aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and manufacturing and also promoting exports.

“As we have explained severally, our decisions on FOREX management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round tripping.

On the handling of FOREX by banks, Okoroafor explained that banks that were found to have published flawed data have replied in a query by the apex bank that it was due to formatting errors

He said: “The CBN neither allocates foreign exchange nor does it deal directly with bank customers. The CBN does not fix FOREX rates for transactions by individuals or companies. W e direct DMBS to forward evidence of FOREX sale to end users and to advertise same in national dailies

“We have observed, however, that some DMBs forwarded inaccurate data, which were erroneously published and gave a wrong impression of disparate rates. The DMBs involved in providing inaccurate data have since been issued queries accordingly.

Some have returned a response indicating that some figures were related to formatting errors, which do not reflect the true transactions. We therefore wish to reiterate that the sale of FOREX under the new regime is most transparent and it is not intended to benefit any individual or corporate body in any way”