The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, has refuted claims that the federal government is still owing foreign exchange amounting to $2.4 billion.
In an interview with Arise Television, Cardoso said the bank had settled verified forex requests, which amounted to $2.3 billion out of the reported $7 billion outstanding foreign exchange liabilities of the government.
The apex bank chief added that the current total outstanding FX obligations stood at $2.2 billion, expressing confidence that the outstanding forex liabilities would be addressed shortly.
Cardoso further indicated that of the headline $7 billion outstanding FX claims, about $2.4 billion were fraudulent, citing the outcome of a forensic audit by Deloitte Management Consultant, which was commissioned by the apex bank.
He maintained that CBN would not pay for FX requests that were not validly constituted, adding that the bank has written to authorised dealers to explain the disparities identified.
“And sadly, quite frankly, I think much of those have not been disputed to our satisfaction,” he said.
Cardoso stated that he had nothing against the central bank’s interventions in the economy, pointing out that this remains a standard practice globally, especially in times of crisis.
However, Cardoso said such interventions needed to be well thought out in order not to destabilise the economy.
He added that too much liquidity had been injected into the economy in a relatively short space of time, which he said was particularly detrimental to monetary policy.