CBN refutes AGF query over forex allocations, disburses $2.8bn for raw materials

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), did not query the apex bank over infractions in forex allocations.

CBN was reacting to a report that its governor, Godwin Emefiele, was queried by the AGF over several petitions bordering on corruption in forex deals and “questionable exchange rate policy.”

The Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement that “neither the governor of the CBN nor the director, Legal Services Department has received any communication with regard to the issue.”

The statement said “The CBN does not deal directly with any bank customer on foreign exchange transactions. Such transactions are consummated strictly between the customers and their respective Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

“The figures of forex sale published in national dailies or on CBN website, over which insinuations are being formed, were transactions consummated between the DMBs and their customers.”

Meanwhile, in clearing backlog of dollar demands in the country, the CBN said it has disbursed the sum of $2.83 billion for utilization in the critical sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, agriculture aviation, petroleum products between December 2016 and January 2017.

According to the apex bank, priority was given to manufacturing, raw material and agriculture above other demands as its disbursements are targeted at employment generating and wealth creating sectors of the economy.

Okorafor stated that the sum of $609 million and $228 million were released for raw materials in the months of December and January respectively while manufacturing also attracted the sum $53 million and $71 million respectively during the same period.

The Foreign exchange utilization figure indicated that the sums of $1.839 billion and $0.989 billion respectively were extended to critical sectors like manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum products and airlines among others in December 2016 and January 2017.Okorafor stressed the determination of the apex bank to continue to ease the foreign exchange pressure on critical sectors.

It will be recalled that the CBN in the month of November 2016, supported critical sectors with $1.07 billion equivalent of foreign exchange for agricultural machinery, industrial raw materials, education and personal travel allowances to source industrial raw materials and spare-parts through the interbank foreign market.

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