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CBN says apex bank not responsible for Forex rates

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released a statement to address allegations leveled against it on wrong foreign exchange purchase figures. The statement, which was signed by Isaac Okorafor, the bank’s director of corporate communications, said the sale of forex under the new policy is most transparent.

The new foreign exchange policy prioritises forex sales to manufacturers, agriculture, plant and machinery, critical raw materials, amongst others.

“Following reports alleging irregularities in the rates at which foreign exchange was obtained by some individuals and companies from different Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) under the new [60:40] foreign exchange policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which prioritizes FOREX sales to manufacturers, agriculture, plant and machinery, critical raw materials, among others, we wish to make the following clarifications,” the statement read.

“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.

“In line with our principle of transparency, we directed DMBs to forward to us evidence of FOREX sale to end users and to advertise same in national dailies.” The bank said since it introduced the new forex policy, it has been publishing evidence of sale from DMBs “in the spirit of transparency”.

“We have recently observed, however, that some DMBs forwarded inaccurate data, which were erroneously published and gave a wrong impression of disparate rates,” the statement read.

“The DMBs involved in providing inaccurate data have since been issued queries accordingly. “Some have returned a response indicating that some of the figures were related to formatting errors, which do not affect the true rates of the affected transactions.

“As the constitutionally authorised industry regulator mandated to manage the FOREX market, maintain external reserves and to safeguard the international value of the legal tender currency, we wish to state unequivocally that the CBN has a duty to perform and would not indulge in acts capable of discrediting the forex market. “We wish to reiterate that the sale of forex under the new policy is most transparent and it is not intended to benefit any individual or corporate body in anyway.”

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