Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has made a shocking revelation about the foreign exchange backlog, stating that $2.4 billion of the $7 billion inherited were linked to non-existing entities, undocumented requests, and various infractions.
Cardoso made this known in an interview on Arise TV on Monday.
He said: “Approximately $7 billion was the reported obligation, and we began the process of payment with our limited resources, settling what we believed were valid transactions. However, we realized we needed a closer look, leading us to enlist Deloitte for a forensic audit to distinguish valid from invalid transactions.”
The findings of the audit were nothing short of startling. Cardoso disclosed, saying: “Out of the $7 billion, about $2.4 billion had issues, ranging from of lack of valid import documents to entities that didn’t exist. Some account parties received more than they requested, while others received funds without even making a request.”
Pressed on the fate of these contentious transactions, Cardoso asserted, “We are not paying if you don’t qualify.” The governor emphasized the commitment to addressing only valid transactions, highlighting the necessity of a rigorous assessment process.
This revelation sheds light on the complexities within the foreign exchange system and the challenges faced by the CBN in rectifying inherited discrepancies. The call for a forensic audit reflects the commitment to transparency and accountability, ensuring that taxpayer funds are directed only towards legitimate obligations.