Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Thursday that it was not possible to sell a unit of United States dollar for 60 kobo in 2016 as being insinuated in some quarters.
Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Isaac Okorafor said in a statement that the transactions concerned were consummated in third currencies such as Japanese Yen and South African Rand (YEN/ZAR); JPY/NGN, EUR/USD, USD/ZAR.
Pursuant to our policy of transparency, we publish the reports of purchases and sales of forex between the DMBs and their customers, as submitted by the banks without editing.
This practice of publishing the figures on our website has been on since October 2016;
“Following observations of different exchange rates after the last publication on our website (www.cbn.gov.ng), we called for explanations from the banks concerned.
“In response to our queries to them, apart from some observed formatting errors, the concerned banks reported that the returns were sent on the basis which the transactions were conducted.”
“The transactions concerned were consummated in third currencies such as Japanese Yen and South African Rand (YEN/ZAR); JPY/NGN, EUR/USD, USD/ZAR.”
“As a result, there is no way any DMB or the CBN will deal in forex transaction at the rate of 61kobo/USD, N18/US$1 or N3/US$1, as was erroneously reported.”
“The aforementioned are third currency transactions and when properly translated, will be in line with the prevailing forex rate range in the interbank market”, Okorafor clarified.”
The statement debunked reports that Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami issued a query to Governor of the Bank, Godwin Emefiele over discrepancies in forex allocation to end users.
“While it is perfectly normal for any agency of Government to seek clarifications on any matter from other agencies of government, we wish to state that neither the Governor of the CBN nor the Director, Legal Services Department has received any communication with regard to the issue.”
“The CBN, as a responsible and responsive arm of Government, will always provide clarifications on any matter within its purview for the purpose of educating and enlightening all concerned.”
Again the apex bank reiterated that it does not deal directly with any bank customer on foreign exchange transactions as such transactions are consummated strictly between the customers and their respective Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
“The figures of FOREX sale published in national dailies or on CBN website, over which insinuations are being formed, were transactions consummated between the DMBs and their customers.”
To prevent any such occurrence in the future, the CBN said it has directed all deposit money banks to render their returns in a uniform format converting all forex sales and purchases to NGN/USD.
“All third currency transactions are also to be converted to NGN/USD”, the statement added.