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CBN reacts to calls for Emefiele’s resignation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has dismissed calls for the resignation of its governor, Godwin Emefiele over issues relating to the exchange rate of the naira.

Recall that the CBN in July stopped sale of foreign exchange (FX) to earlier authorised Bureau De Change operators (BCDs).

Emefiele recently said the only recognised foreign exchange market is the importers and exporters (I&E) FX window.

According to Emefiele, the monetary authority is investigating Oniwinde Adedotun and abokiFX Limited over “illegal foreign exchange transactions” and its mode of data information.

The decision was condemned and strongly criticised by some Nigerians across social media platforms — while others called for the resignation of the apex bank chief over persistent fall in naira rates against foreign currencies at the black market.

Speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja, Osita Nwanisobi, the apex bank’s spokesperson, alleged that “those behind such calls were only pursuing their selfish agenda fueled by those who had long benefitted from rent-seeking practices in the parallel forex market”.

According to him, the CBN would not be distracted in its mandate by yielding to selfish tendencies.

He urged the banking public to disregard claims aimed at impugning the reputation of the bank, adding that the bank remains committed to carrying out its mandate for the good of the Nigerian people.

Nwanisobi also assured citizens of the CBN’s commitment to meeting the foreign exchange request of travellers with legitimate needs as they relate to travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees, among other invisibles.

He noted that there was enough supply of foreign exchange to the banks to meet legitimate demands from customers.

The spokesman said no customer requiring foreign exchange for genuine transactions would be turned back by their banks.

Speaking further on the ban on FX sales to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators, Nwanisobi said that “such a practice was not sustainable in the long run, considering that many of the BDCs had since deviated from the purpose for which they were issued licenses in the first instance.”

He insisted that “the rate in the CBN-unrecognised parallel market was not the reference rate of the naira, so Nigerians should be wary of the activities of speculators who sought to manipulate the market for unpatriotic reasons.”

On Monday, the naira dropped to N575 at the black market and N413 to the dollar at the I&E forex window.

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