Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has denied reports that it planned to convert foreign exchange (FX) in domiciliary accounts of bank customers into naira.
This is as the CBN has also assured members of the public that it would continue to monitor the deposit money banks to ensure that they comply with the set rules and guidelines as well as meet the legitimate FX demands of customers.
The reaction of the apex bank is contained in a statement issued by CBN’s acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, who refuted the speculations in some quarters that the regulator planned to convert FX in the domiciliary accounts of customers into naira in order to check purported shortage of availability of the dollars.
He stressed that the CBN never planned to tamper with the FX deposits in the accounts of customers, adding that those making such allegations were criminal speculators whose intention was to create panic in the foreign exchange market.
CBN director insisted that at no time did the bank ever suggest or imply that it would tinker with the FX deposits of customers.
He, therefore, urged operators of domiciliary accounts and other members of the banking public to go about their legitimate FX transactions and disregard fictitious stories aimed at pitching them against the bank and triggering chaos in the system.
It can be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, at the recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting announced that the apex bank would stop the weekly sale of foreign exchange to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, accusing them of engaging in illegal activities and money laundering.
He said that the BDC operators abandoned the original objectives of their establishment which was to serve retail end users who need $5,000 or less but rather became wholesale dealers dealing in forex to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction.
The CBN subsequently handed over the sale of forex to genuine customers who meet the relevant conditions with documentation to the commercial banks. They asked the banks to set up designated branches and dedicated teller points for FX transactions.
Some of the commercial banks in total compliance with the CBN’s directive have started selling forex to genuine customers with reports that the banks in Abuja have set up dedicated teller points for FX transactions in compliance with CBN’s directive and had commenced selling at an official rate of N412/$.