Naira under pressure due to false forex claims
Publish date: 12 February 2024
Issue Number: 1063
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has uncovered invalid foreign overdue claims totalling $2.4bn, which have pressured the naira for long and spooked the currency market. Premium Times reports that CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso said the discovery was made after an audit brought several shady deals to light. After seven years of being concealed, the audited accounts became public last year and revealed a $7bn backlog of unmet dollar demand from investors and currency users. That has created an overhang in the market which, unless cleared, could keep the naira pressured, leaving the currency on a continued free fall against the dollar. The CBN hired Deloitte to investigate the forex claims to get a true picture of the situation. It found that as much as $2.4bn of the backlog are false claims. ‘There were account parties who had asked for foreign exchange and got more than they asked for. There were some who didn't even ask for any and got. So there were whole loads of infractions there,’ Cardosa added.