Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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HomeCrimeCBN and EFCC Investigate Banks, Firms Over Alleged Forex Racketeering

CBN and EFCC Investigate Banks, Firms Over Alleged Forex Racketeering

 

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have launched investigations into suspected forex racketeering involving banks and firms.

 

Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, disclosed that security agencies, including the EFCC, are probing foreign exchange allocations and forward contracts worth an estimated $2.4 billion. This investigation stems from an audit of $7 billion debts inherited by the current administration of the apex bank.

 

The CBN engaged Deloitte, a global firm, to conduct the audit, which revealed numerous irregularities in forex transactions. Cardoso emphasized that many transactions lacked valid documentation and failed to meet regulatory standards, with allocations made to fictitious entities and discrepancies in allocated amounts.

 

Cardoso assured that valid transactions have been settled, but law enforcement agencies are scrutinizing those deemed unlawful. The ongoing probe may lead to summoning bank CEOs and executives for questioning.

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Meanwhile, some members of the private sector expressed dissatisfaction with the CBN’s handling of forex backlogs, hinting at potential legal action against banks. Despite this, Cardoso affirmed the market’s transparency and urged stakeholders to utilize the open market for forex transactions.

 

In another development, the CBN directed deposit money banks to expedite actions on increasing their capital base to fortify the financial system against risks. This directive aligns with efforts to bolster Nigeria’s economy towards achieving a $1 trillion target by 2026.

 

Amidst these investigations, the Nigerian naira has experienced a surge against the US dollar, reaching N1,382/$, attributed to recent forex reforms and increased market transparency.

 

The CBN governor expressed optimism that forex stability will enhance investor confidence and attract foreign investments to Nigeria, noting the positive impact of recent policy actions and reforms in the foreign exchange market.

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