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Law enforcement agencies investigating $2.4b unverified claims — Cardoso, CBN gov.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, has said that law enforcement agencies were investigating $2.4 billion unverified claims out of the $7 billion foreign exchange backlog he inherited.






Cardoso, who became the head of the apex bank in September 2023 made the disclosure at a news conference after the 294th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.






However, he added that the apex bank had settled all outstanding FX obligations, leaving the $2.4 billion that is being investigated.



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According to him, various irregularities like the disbursement of large sums of FX for requests that were never submitted and allocations made without the necessary naira backing are the issues being sorted out, saying that was why the transactions were not validated.






“We brought in Deloitte management consultants who took time and this really did take months,” the CBN boss said.






“This is not something that happened overnight and a lot of this work was going on and people didn’t know but they took months painstakingly to go through all the documents, all the documents and to ensure that you know, they would have a report, which we could rely on.






“In the course of that, of course, we determined that a number of these transactions did not qualify.






“In some cases, you had some allocations that were made in millions of dollars, which were never requested for.





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“We also had somewhere they had no naira and they were also allocated, you know, huge sums of foreign exchange and the list goes on.






“It was for that reason that we refused to validate those particular transactions.







“We refused to validate them because apart from the fact that documentation was not satisfactory, in many cases, they were outright illegal.







“And the law enforcement agencies, of course, are now looking into those transactions that are, as far as we’re concerned, not valid to be paid.”







He added that they would be willing to adjust accordingly if contrary information are made available.






“I would emphasise that if there’s any information to the contrary, we would in due course consider that, but as of today, that is exactly where it stands and the law enforcement agencies are taking a very, very hard look at those transactions.






“Other transactions, we have settled and as of today, as I have said before, I will say it again, that the valid transactions as far as the Central Bank of Nigeria is concerned, have been taken care of,” Cardoso said.