CBN clears all $7b forex backlog

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cleared all $7 billion foreign exchange (forex) backlog inherited by Governor Yemi Cardoso.

In a statement yesterday, Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the settlement of all valid forex backlog claims.

She explained that the CBN had employed Deloitte Consulting, an independent auditing firm, to meticulously assess the transactions, ensuring that only legitimate claims were honoured.

“Any invalid transactions were referred to the relevant authorities for further investigation,” Sidi Ali said.

Governor Cardoso had emphasised the importance of clearing the backlog to restore credibility in the Nigerian economy.

He stated that, “we made clearing the forex backlog a priority to restore credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.”

Cardoso further highlighted the completion of a “credible process” to verify the authenticity of these obligations and expressed his satisfaction in clearing all “genuine, verifiable transactions.

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He underscored the significance of resolving this issue, stating, “This encumbrance to market confidence in the country’s ability to meet its obligations is now totally behind us.”

The CBN’s commitment to tackling the forex backlog appeared to be paying off. External reserves have seen a significant rise. The Nation had reported the reserves rose to its highest point in nine moinths last weekened. This increase was attributed to a notable rise in remittance payments from Nigerians abroad and increased foreign investment in local assets, including government debt securities.

The CBN’s actions are part of a broader strategy outlined during the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.

This strategy aims to stabilise the exchange rate by maintaining a stable exchange rate that helps to curb imported inflation and fosters a more predictable economic environment.

Sidi Ali said clearing the backlog demonstrates the CBN’s commitment to transparency and accountability, potentially enhancing confidence in the financial sector.

Analysts said increased foreign exchange reserves and improved liquidity in the forex market can contribute to economic growth by facilitating international trade and investment.

They noted that Cardoso’s efforts to address the forex backlog and manage foreign reserves strategically demonstrate the CBN’s focus on fostering a more stable and investor-friendly Nigerian economy.

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