The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele has said that some people are collecting dollars from Bureau De Change operators and use them to import weapons in order to harm Nigerians.
He said this on Friday while speaking at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said that the CBN decided to stop the sale of FOREX to Bureau De Change operators because they have become a source of foreign exchange for criminals to perform their nefarious activities.
The CBN Governor said, “It truly beats my imagination that Nigerians continued with this type of practice (selling dollars to BDC) that tended to promote illegal activities who are involved in graft and corrupt practices.
“We won’t support the corrupt tendencies of those who illegally buy dollars from our forex market, carry them in aircraft, buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and conduct crimes. Whether it is Boko Haram, banditry and other nefarious activities.”
“Why will CBN give people our forex to go and buy arms? And that is what people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that. What we are saying is that if you have any legitimate need for forex, take it to the bank and they will sell you FOREX.”
The Central Bank of Nigeria also retained the 11.5 per cent interest rate for the country’s lending benchmark.
The committee members had in July voted to retain MPR at 11.5 percent, a rate it had been since September 2020.
Emefiele hinged the decision on the prediction that the country’s economy would continue to improve on the successful vaccination programme.
The MPC expressed delight in the country’s output growth, but is worried about the rate of inflation which is currently at 17.01 per cent as of August 2021.
The apex bank governor revealed that Anchor Borrower’s Programme beneficiaries received N798bn.
Industrial credit rose to N22.2trn at the end of June 2021 said the apex bank governor.
On the management of exchange rate, the apex bank warned banks to ensure transparency on foreign exchange dealings.
Emefiele vowed to eliminate illegal Foreign Exchange dealers in the forex market.
He said investment in naira denominated currency has become less attractive.