MON, FEBRUARY 04 2019-theG&BJournal-The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dismissed the report as ‘’Unfounded Allegations.’’ But CBN watchers say the allegations by BusinessDay, the leading business and finance news provider in Nigeria is unusual for the CBN and could trigger action on the country’s disjointed multiple foreign exchange markets.
The CBN’s angst stems from the front page story in the Businessday today which alleged that faceless agents pocket over N32 billion annually from ‘’sleazy deals’’ in the FX market. The report alleges that that ‘’faceless agents in Nigeria are exploiting the country’s multiple exchange rates to devastating effects and allegedly with the backing of regulators.’’
‘’The CBN wishes to state unequivocally that this report is unfounded and untrue and challenges BusinessDay to provide the names and also verifiable evidence of collusion between these faceless agents and officials of the CBN, who are working to perpetuate these so called Fx racket schemes,’’ the apparently jolted CBN responded.
The CBN noted most financial observers view on the converging Fx rates across various markets governed and regulated by it.
‘’BusinessDay may not be far from the truth,’’ one market watcher told theG&BJournal. ‘’Nigeria is the only country in the world that operates 4 (four) currency regimes, one frequently referred to as the official rate, the interbank market, the Bureau de change and mallams and anything can happen,’’ he added.
A person familiar with the CBN’s Fx market intervention stressed that misdemeanour still exists in the market orchestrated mostly by bankers and those he wryly calls ‘market riggers’
‘’If you recall in 2015, the CBN imposed fine of N400 million on these characters. We haven’t heard of any publicly in recent times but I don’t think the bank is doing enough on the convergence of the Fx rates,’’ he said.