… says ‘criminals buy dollars for arm importation’
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele, on Friday revealed how some Bureaux de Change in the country have been aiding terrorists and other criminals in the procurement of arms.
According to Emefiele, the CBN has discovered that a large amount of the dollars bought by the BDCs has been going into illegal purchase of arms.
The apex bank’s boss spoke on Friday at a press conference at the end of the September Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the financial institution.
The MPC, which cited economic recovery as an incentive, retained all key rates.
But the CBN governor, however, vowed that the apex bank would go after those accessing dollars illegally.
“Whether it’s Boko Haram, kidnapping and all sorts of nefarious activities, BDCs take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us.
“That’s what people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer. We can’t. If you have any legal, legitimate business you want to conduct, please take your business to a bank, they will sell you forex.
“If the amount you want is even above the limit that is recognised and we find that the reasons you are making this demand is legitimate, your bank will speak to us and we will give you more than what is the limit, Emefiele said.
He insisted that individuals and businesses should always approach banks to procure forex legitimately.
He vowed that the CBN would not relent in its crackdown on those who fraudulently obtain forex.
He added, “We go after people who use fake visa and other travel documents to fraudulently procure forex from the commercial banks through EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and other anti-graft agencies.
“The only exchange rate that I recognise today in the Nigerian foreign exchange market which is the dominant market remains the Investors and Exporters Window, which is the market that we expect for everybody that wishes to procure foreign exchange or somebody who wants to sell foreign exchange.
“Go to your bank, the Investors and Exporters Window will attend to you. I’m sorry to say that I do not intend to recognise there are any other rates in the market.”