The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has described as false and unwarranted, rumors and speculative activities of ‘unscrupulous’ players in the foreign exchange market that it is on the verge of devaluing the Naira.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the CBN Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, made available to BreakingTimes on Thursday.
The CBN said it has begun a robust and coordinated investigation in collaboration with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and related agencies to uncover the unscrupulous persons and FX dealers who are creating the panic.
“For nearly four years, the CBN has successfully maintained relative stability in all segments of the foreign exchange market, which has enabled investors, households and other economic agents to plan and to conduct their genuine foreign exchange transactions with relative ease;
“The ntroduction of several foreign exchange management measures side-by-side with complementary interventions in food production and manufacturing has drastically reduced food importation, which hitherto constituted a large chunk of the pressure on the foreign exchange market;
“Although the outbreak of the Coronavirus led to global economic slowdown, fall in the price of crude oil, and less inflow of dollars into Nigeria, the associated public health concerns have also led to factory closures in China, substantial drop in imports, widespread travel restrictions around the world, and cancellation of many conferences, sporting events, business travels, and FX orders;
“The size of Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves remains robust and comfortable, given the current realities of Nigeria’s genuine and legitimate FX demand. As such, the CBN remains able and willing to meet all genuine demand for foreign exchange for legitimate transactions; and
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CBN is also working with the fiscal authorities to properly and accurately dimension the immediate and expected impacts of the Coronavirus in order to respond comprehensively and at the same time, ensure a sound and stable financial system conducive for job creation and inclusive growth,” the statement read in part.
The CBN added that it will invoke the full weight of applicable sanctions on any persons and authorized dealers found to be involved in such “disruptive and speculative market behavior.”