The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reacted to allegations of corruption levelled against it by Nigerian Wailers, saying that the Wailers are paid agents and would fail in their bid to distract the government from its focus.
The Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor reacted to the allegation in a conversation with the Economic Confidential.
The Nigerian Wailers had, in a statement, alleged wide-spread corruption in the administration of foreign exchange and illegally lending money to President Buhari’s administration to support the budget.
The CBN spokesperson said “The allegations are totally false and fabricated. Such a thing is not possible under the new forex system. It is not enough to make wild allegations. Those who are paid agents of selfish interests and the enemies of the Nigerian economy will fail in their bid to distract the CBN and the Federal Government from their focus on the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from import and crude oil dependency.”
Mr. Okorafor said “No amount of blackmail will make the CBN allow a practice where by our farmers and industrialists who have invested heavily and employed our youths in the production of Nigerian made rice, fish, industrial starch, palm produce, wheat, tooth pick, wines, etc would be made to close their farms and factories again”. What these charlatans and hirelings want are basically twofold. First they want the CBN to give out the nation’s scarce foreign exchange to their sponsors to import all manner of foreign goods and dump them on our markets thereby frustrating the good work our own farmers and manufacturers.
“Secondly, they want the CBN to fold its arms and allow currency speculators to drive the naira down to a level at which it will be easy for their paymasters to buy up and take control of the Nigerian economy. They have even gone to the extent of making false allegations that some banks are having trouble just to trigger panic in the financial system. These will not happen. Nigerians have rejected these foreign agents. 26 states have adopted the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). Nigeria is set to be self-sufficient in rice, fish and wheat production. What happened during the past Christmas and new year celebrations has proved this. It will be economically suicidal for the CBN to allocate our scarce forex to those who will engage in another escapade in senseless importation which will again discourage our local producers who have borrowed money to engage in agriculture and local manufacturing. It will be dangerous to our poor people in the rural areas and indeed to masses of Nigerian workers who are on fixed incomes for the CBN to allow speculators to drive the value of the naira to any level just for the selfish gains of the sponsors of these arrangee protests. We will not succumb to blackmail.
“Again, the issue of the CBN funding the Federal Government budget has been long addressed with clear figures which have been widely publicized. Let me once again state that the role of the CBN as banker to the Federal Government is to do exactly what we have done and within the limits specified by law.
“Or would the so called group want the CBN to withhold advances so that the government will collapse?” he concluded.
But in a statement from the Nigerian Wailers signed by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Fasipe Oluyemi, the group has called on the good people of Nigeria to come out en mass for a protest (#OccupyCBN) to stop this impunity of the Fraudulent Forex Trading, Round Tripping and racketeering going on in the Central Bank of Nigeria aided by its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and bring to an end the Manipulation of Forex, illegally funding Federal Government budget, short-changing the Money Deposit Bank’s reserve ratio at the expense of the Masses as the abuse of internal process.
The group recalls that the apex bank’s top management carried out a backdoor recruitment exercise for the children of high profile Nigerian politicians, business men, in which the door was shut against the children of average Nigerian who may have been qualified to work in the bank on merit basis and were not allowed, but, the employment was freely handed to the children of friends and families of those in Government.
“Since the emergence of the administration of President Buhari, Forex Trading has been illegally turned to an exclusive business of the friends and family of those in power as against the principle of banking which allows for professionalism in trading and ensuring circulation to the business community for import and export of goods and services that will have direct positive impact on the economy and the people, the statement said.