The Central Bank of Nigeria has denied suggestions that the bank may consider converting the foreign exchange in domiciliary accounts of customers into naira.

The bank said it has no intention of tampering with the foreign exchange deposits in the accounts of customers.

Following its decision to stop the sales of forex to Bureau De Change operators, there has been speculation that the apex bank may start converting forex in domiciliary accounts to naira in order to check the shortage of availability of the United States dollars.

Refuting this Monday, the bank’s acting director in charge of corporate communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said those making such allegations were “criminal speculators” whose intention was to create panic in the foreign exchange market.

According to him, at no time did the CBN ever suggest or imply that it would tamper with the foreign exchange deposits of customers.

He urged operators of domiciliary accounts and other members of the banking public to go about their legitimate foreign exchange transactions and disregard fictitious stories aimed at pitching them against the Bank and triggering chaos in the system.

The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced last week that the bank will now only sell forex to commercial banks. It has since then directed the banks to set up a desk dedicated to selling forex to foreign exchange to customers, for invisibles such as basic travel allowance, PTA, medical and tuition etc.

With concerns being raised about the efficiency of this move, the CBN has assured that it will monitor the commercial banks to ensure they meet the legitimate FX demands of customers.

Mr. Nwanisobi disclosed that the CBN had put in place a monitoring mechanism to guarantee the seamless sale of foreign exchange to customers who supported their requests with relevant documentation.

He said the CBN had also extracted the commitment of the banks, through their Chief Executive Officers, that customers with legitimate requests will not be turned back.


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