The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refuted allegations by a national newspaper that some CBN officials are colluding with unnamed agents to illegally pocket N32 billion from the nation’s multiple forex operation windows.
The report entitled: “Exposed, The Sleazy Face of N306/$; Inside Nigeria’s racket where faceless agents pocket over N32bn annually”, was carried on the front page of national daily on Monday, February 4, 2019.
“The CBN wishes to state unequivocally that this report is unfounded and untrue, and challenges BusinessDay to provide the names and also verifiable evidence of collusion between these faceless agents and officials of the CBN, who are working to perpetuate these so-called Fx racket schemes,” spokesman of the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said in a rejoinder to the report.
Okorafor noted that the management of media outfit ought to have contacted the CBN prior to making the allegations in order to get clarifications, stating that the apex bank was denied the benefit of responding to the article.
“The CBN wishes to remind BusinessDay, as most financial observers have noted, that the Fx rates across various markets governed and regulated by the CBN have been converging, leaving no room for arbitrage opportunities in Nigeria’s FX market,” he said.
The CBN spokesman promised that the apex bank would continue to act in the best interest of Nigeria and would ensure it remains focused on its core mandate of sustaining stability in the FX market.
Meanwhile, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that the apex bank would partner with Kano State government to promote agriculture. Emiefele disclosed this yesterday in Kano when he paid a courtesy visit to the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, at Government House, Kano.
Emefiele said that they were in the state to inspect some facilities and Dangote Tomato Farms in Kadawa community.
The CBN governor noted that Ganduje had demonstrated zeal to promote the economic development of Kano, saying that the Kano governor had visited him several times to access some of the facilities to support agriculture and electricity in Kano.
“Besides that, the Central Bank is giving accessibility to finance, which is one of the problems bedeviling the farmers, the government of Kano provides them with land and dams,” he said, adding that agriculture, when properly financed, would create employment opportunities for youths.
Earlier the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said that Kano had been the flag-bearer in the area of agriculture in the country.
“We are here today also in the company of the CBN governor. If not for the CBN and the governor anchoring this programme, the story of agriculture in this country would have been that of in a terrible tragedy,” he said.
He then commended Ganduje for the direct support he gives to the farmers. He said that massive investment in agriculture would further develop the state’s economy and enhance food security in the country.
In his remarks, the Kano State Governor said that his government was serious about agriculture.
“There are many variables. If we want to succeed, we must look at the whole process critically because any missing step will make the whole exercise a failure.
“We have to examine the stakeholders in the production of tomato, farmers, state governments and the federal government, to create an environment to succeed,” Ganduje said.
The governor added that his government had provided irrigation facilities, farm implements and upgraded its fertilizer production company.
“I commend the CBN governor and the bank’s management for being firm in the application of economic policies. This, to me, is a good omen for the country,’’ he said.