The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has said it is set to prosecute forex defaulters in the country.
The CBN Acting Director of Communication, Mrs Sidi Ali, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Nigeria has nearly $7 billion in forex forwards that have matured, which is a major concern for investors, but the CBN promised to pay up to boost confidence in the foreign exchange markets.
Sidi explained that the apex bank commissioned an independent forensic review by a reputable firm to look into the forex exchange issues in the country.
According to her, “The review revealed grave infractions, gross abuse, and significant non-compliance with market regulations, and appropriate sanctions would be enforced in collaboration with relevant agencies.”
She also said the CBN will continue to settle the legitimate foreign exchange backlog, as it has consistently been doing in the last three months.
Nigeria’s foreign currency shortages have been worsened by declining oil production, which is the country’s largest export, accounting for more than 90 per cent of dollar inflows.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its bid to clear the backlog of outstanding foreign exchange liabilities, has paid approximately $2 billion across various sectors, including manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum,” the statement said.
“The Central Bank has also cleared up the entire liability of 14 banks and started settlements with foreign airlines.
“Nevertheless, the CBN will continue to settle the legitimate foreign exchange backlog as it has consistently been doing in the last three months,” the statement read in part.