The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it has issued queries to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country over inaccurate data on foreign exchange transactions.
The acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor in a circular issued on Sunday, explained that DBMs of recent have forwarded inaccurate data, which erroneously published and gave a wrong impression of disparate rates.
In his words, “Since the introduction of the new foreign exchange policy in 2016, we have published, monthly, the evidence of sale from DMBs, as received from the banks and without any alteration by us 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; CBN issues queries to DMBs over inaccurate data on foreign exchange transactions
“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.”
On the allegation of irregularities in the rates at which foreign exchange was obtained by some individuals and companies from different banks under the new [60:40] Foreign Exchange Policy by the CBN, which prioritizes foreign exchange sales to manufacturers, agriculture, plant and machinery, critical raw materials, among others, he explained that CBN does not allocate foreign exchange nor does it deal directly with bank customers.
According to the circular signed by Okorafor, “The CBN does not fix foreign exchange rates for transactions by individuals or companies; In line with our principle of transparency, we directed DMBs to forward to us evidence of foreign exchange sale to end users and to advertise same in national dailies.”
He explained further: “As the constitutionally authorized industry regulator mandated to manage the foreign exchange 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 foreign exchange market.
“We therefore wish to reiterate that the sale of foreign exchange under the new policy is most transparent and it is not intended to benefit any individual or corporate body in anyway,” the circular added.