News Investigators/ A former minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Dr. Wunmi Bewaji has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently publish all necessary documents on the alleged $7 billion fraudulent FX claims, calling on government to prosecute the offenders.
Mr. Bewaji who is a security and financial regulation law expert attributed the instability around the Foreign Exchange (Forex) market to the infractions under Godwin Emifele led administration of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to him, there is an urgent need to remind CBN to bring the instrument of the law to bear on the offenders in the spurious FX claims to deter subsequent violation.
The CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had in an interview with ARISE NEWS, disclosed that the bank had settled verified FX requests, which amounted to $2.3 billion.
He said about $2.4 billion out of the reported $7 billion outstanding foreign exchange liabilities of the federal government are not valid for settlement.
According to him the current total outstanding FX obligations stood at $2.2 billion. Cardoso further indicated that part of the headline $7 billion outstanding FX claims were fraudulent, citing the outcome of a forensic audit by Deloitte Management Consultant, which was commissioned by the apex bank..
The former lawmaker said “of great importance is the place of continuous disclosure in corporate governance. There is a reason why the law made the space for the annual audit of corporate governance and you know for a very long time the CBN has failed to publish its books.
“So this should never happen again, for almost 7 to 9 years, the CBN was never audited. An organisation like the CBN that should lead by the example is the one that violating the law for that length of time.
Bewaji, described as sad news the snippets and other discoveries about the nation’s import regime, is riddle with false claims, and most of the so called backlog cannot be backed-up with documents, neither can it be verified and everybody knows this.
The Leeds Trained Scholar said, the discovery of the $2.4billion false claim by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is predicated on the forensic audit by Deloitte, which has not been disputed.
This means that the discovery is genuine; the implication of this is that, it confirms what everybody had insinuated all along that the import regime in Nigeria has been criminalized for a very long time, especially under the last CBN administration of Godwin Emefile, he said.
“Going forward, we should as a matter of Policy, make it mandatory, of course it is required by the law. The CBN should lead by example and ought to publish its audit annually. This will save us from this sort of problems in the future
“This issue should not be treated in the CBN business as usual manner.
“This is fraud we are talking about. Crime has been committed as a result and I will say that people that made these false claims ought to be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law so as to discourage such kind of criminal conduct in the future. The people involved in this making of false claims ought to be prosecuted and the full weight of the law ought to be brought upon them
“I should also add that, this discovery also revealed to us that the pressure on the Naira is artificial. It’s nothing but false pressure. What this means is that the Naira is grossly undervalued.