The Nigerian Central Bank has assured the public that it has put in place monitoring systems to ensure that deposit money institutions meet clients’ legal foreign exchange demands.
This comes after the Reserve Bank of India instructed commercial banks to begin selling currency to consumers for intangibles including basic travel allowance, personal travel allowance, and medical and tuition fees.
The assurance was offered by Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank’s acting Director in Charge of Corporate Communications, in a statement released by the bank on Monday.
Nwanisobi told business journalists in Abuja on Monday that the CBN has put in place a monitoring system to ensure the smooth supply of forex to customers who backed up their requests with appropriate documents.
He went on to say that the CBN had obtained assurances from the banks, via their CEOs, that clients with legitimate requests would not be turned away.
He shot off allegations that the CBN was planning to convert forex in customers’ domiciliary accounts into naira in order to address a perceived scarcity of dollars.
“While revealing that the CBN never intended to tamper with foreign exchange deposits in clients’ accounts, Nwanisobi stated that individuals making such allegations were criminal speculators whose intention was to create panic in the foreign exchange market,” according to the statement.
“According to him, the CBN never suggested or implied that it would tamper with client foreign exchange deposits.”
As a result, he urged domiciliary account holders and other members of the banking public to carry on with their legitimate FX transactions and ignore fabricated reports aimed at pitting them against the central bank and causing havoc in the system.
Meanwhile, lawyers affiliated with the Lawyers In Defense of Economic Rights have backed the CBN’s decision to halt weekly forex supplies to the country’s Bureau de Change operators.
LIDER’s Head, Mr. Chisom Nduka-Edede, said in a statement on Monday that the CBN’s decision was noteworthy and a positive step toward ending the “act of robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
The apex bank’s action, according to the group, was intended to streamline Nigeria’s currency market and restore sanity to the foreign exchange system.
According to LIDER, the development can be regarded as “killing many birds with one stone” by addressing corruption, money laundering, and terrorism, as well as other social issues plaguing the country.
“With this noble choice, Emefiele and his staff have fired a bazooka at corruption, money laundering, and terrorism,” the statement continued.
This is not only a laudable but also a gutsy decision. Its goal is to put an end to illegal transactions and billionaire briefcases.
“We acknowledge that, like all excellent policies, this one may cause temporary difficulty; however, the benefits are great and will be lasting in the long run.”