Home ยป CBN Governor Unveils $2.4 Billion Forex Scam, Deloitte Audit Exposes Irregularities

CBN Governor Unveils $2.4 Billion Forex Scam, Deloitte Audit Exposes Irregularities

by ONUAH YVONNE

Governor Yemi Cardoso of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed on Monday, January 5, 2024, that a staggering $2.4 billion scam involving fraudulent foreign exchange claims has been uncovered, impacting the already strained naira and causing disruptions in the currency market.

In a pre-recorded interview on Arise TV, Governor Cardoso provided insights into the investigation’s findings, highlighting the extensive pressure exerted on the naira due to the fraudulent activities.

The revelation came to light following a comprehensive audit conducted by Deloitte, a consulting firm enlisted by the CBN to investigate suspicious claims within the forex market. The audit exposed a substantial backlog of unmet dollar demands, totaling $7 billion from both investors and businesses.

Governor Cardoso described the financial “overhang” as a severe threat to the stability of the naira against the US dollar. He explained, “We had reasons to believe we needed to take a harder look at these obligations. So we contracted Deloitte management consultants to do a forensics of all these obligations and to actually tell us what was valid and what was not.”

The audit’s findings were startling, revealing that approximately $2.4 billion had issues, which were deemed irregular. The identified infractions included the absence of valid import documents and instances of entities that did not exist. Governor Cardoso emphasized the need for a thorough examination of these obligations to ensure the integrity of the foreign exchange market.

The impact of the scam on the naira and the currency market has raised concerns about the broader implications for the Nigerian economy. The CBN is expected to take decisive measures to address the irregularities and restore confidence in the forex market.

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