Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, has explained how the apex bank uncovered $2.4billion fraud in Forex trading.
Cardoso disclosed this while featuring on an Arise TV interview programme.
The CBN boss said after the bank contracted Deloitte Management Consultant to do a forensic, it was discovered that about $2.4 billion out of the reported $7 billion outstanding foreign exchange liabilities of the Federal Government were not valid for settlement.
He said: “We contracted Deloitte Management Consultant to do a forensic of all these obligations and to actually tell us what was valid and what was not. Of course, we were committed to ensuring that we would pay all valid transactions.
“The result that came out of this was startling in a great respect; it was quite startling. We discovered that of the roughly $7 billion, about $2.4 had issues, which we believed had no business being there – and the infractions from that range from so many things.
“For example, not having valid import documents and in some cases, even entities that did not exist and in some cases, beneficiaries and account parties that asked for FX and got more than they asked for. And those who didn’t even ask for any and got. So, there were a whole load of infractions there, which I said amounted to about $2.4 billion out of the $7 billion headline figure.”
The apex bank boss added, “We are not paying if you don’t qualify; they are not validly constituted requests. And of the validly constituted ones, we have settled about $2.3 billion and that applies to the airlines and a whole load of different entities spread throughout our economy – we’ve settled that already.
“And now what remains is about $2.2 billion to be settled and I am confident that we will shortly be addressing those and be able to move on and make progress.
“Now, how are we dealing with those that are not valid? As they were identified, we wrote to the authorised dealers to come in and explain what the situation was and where the numbers differed. And sadly, quite frankly, I think much of those have not been disputed to our satisfaction.”
Reiterating the bank’s commitment to resolving outstanding liabilities, Cardoso said, “Yes, as I said, I think that would be what would be done very shortly. Now, you can imagine that having $2.2 billion outstanding and $7 billion outstanding are not the same figure.
“I think we are at the end of this, to be honest, I will put it that way – we will clear all that very shortly and will move on to the next line of action. I am not concerned that the backlog would continue to be on overhang and I think we’ve come to the end of that road.”