CBN Finally Finds Solution to Naira Woes After Discovering $2.4bn False Forex Claims

CBN Finally Finds Solution to Naira Woes After Discovering $2.4bn False Forex Claims

  • The CBN governor, in a recent interview, disclosed the real reason the currency market has been unsettled for a while
  • He stated that out of the $7 billion backlog of unfulfilled dollars discovered, $2.4 billion was invalid foreign outstanding claims
  • He noted that the claimants, in some instances, were unable to provide import documentation for the claims

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, has disclosed that the bank has discovered $2.4 billion invalid foreign outstanding claims.

He said these claims have been pressuring the naira and unsettling the currency market for a while.

CBN Finally Finds Solution to Naira Woes After It Discovered $2.4 Billion False Forex Claims
The CBN governor stated that the discoveries were made following an audit by the central bank's consultant. Photo Credit: CBN
Source: UGC

In an interview with Arise TV station aired on Monday, February 5, Cardoso stated that the CBN engaged Deloitte to look into the FX accusations to obtain an accurate picture of the situation.

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Dubious transactions uncovered

According to Cardoso, the discovery was uncovered following an audit by the central bank's consultant, which exposed several dubious transactions.

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The CBN's audited records were made public last year after being kept secret for seven years.

During that time, auditors discovered a $7 billion backlog of unfulfilled dollar demand from investors and currency users.

Due to this, the CBN governor explained that there is currently a market overhang that, if not resolved, might sustain pressure on the naira and cause it to continue falling versus the dollar.

Cardoso said that according to the Deloitte assessment, up to $2.4 billion of the backlog, as mentioned earlier, consisted fictitious claims, with claimants in some instances being unable to provide import documentation.

He said:

“We had reasons to believe we needed to look harder at these obligations. So we contracted Deloitte management consultants to do forensics of all these obligations and to tell us what was valid and what was not.

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“The result that came out of this was startling in a great respect. It was startling. We discovered that of the roughly $7 billion, about $2.4 billion had issues, which we believe had no business being there, and the infractions on that ranged from so many things, for example, not having valid import documents and, in some cases, entities that do not exist.”

The new move by the CBN followed several policy changes by the apex bank in the last few days. Recall that the CBN recently limited how much banks can hold in foreign currencies.

In a circular released on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, the CBN expressed concerns about the growth of forex exposures on their balance sheets as the naira depreciates against the US dollar.

In addition, the CBN also announced that it would stop daily Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) debits for banks, among other recent changes directed at curbing the fall of naira.

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CBN, FG deny rumours on domiciliary accounts also reported that President Bola Tinubu's administration debunked claims it was considering converting foreign currencies to naira in citizens' domiciliary accounts.

An earlier report had claimed the government was considering the move to aid recovery of the naira.


Zainab Iwayemi avatar

Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science ( degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via