CBN clarifies stand on illicit conversion of currency statement

CBN clarifies stand on illicit conversion of currency statement

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given clarification on its warning against converting the naira to foreign exchange, for politics.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had, at a post-Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting briefing, warned Nigerians against converting the naira to foreign exchange, for electioneering purposes.

Following the directive by the Governor, there had been speculations in the social space that the CBN may clamp down on genuine businesses in its bid to stop politicians.

But the Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, in a clarification on Wednesday, decried attempts in some quarters to misrepresent Emefiele’s caution on electioneering spending by politicians.

He explained that the Governor’s warning was only to those who plan to convert Naira into foreign currencies for political campaigns and not those who will need it for legitimate purposes like tuition.

He said the CBN frowns at the conduct of unauthorized movement of funds within and outside the country and would use tools at its disposal to check the movement of illicit funds.

He said, ‘‘the Bank, in line with its mandate, had discretionary powers to prevent persons from conducting unauthorized transactions, the CBN is within its statutory limits to mop up excess liquidity in the vaults of the institutions it regulates.

‘‘Bank customers must not get involved in the unauthorized movement of funds for currency conversion in order not to fall foul of the extant laws of the land’’, Nwanisobi warned.

He also cautioned Nigerians to be more patriotic when it comes to the Naira, noting that it is the duty of every citizen to support the CBN in preserving the intra-national value of the Naira.