The Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Folashodun Shonubi, has announced that the apex bank is committed to clearing all foreign exchange backlogs within the next two weeks.
Shonubi revealed this during a discussion in Lagos, where he emphasized the CBN’s collaboration with commercial banks to address the challenge of FX backlogs, which some analysts estimate to be around $10 billion.
“The banks have been working with the central bank on various structures to clear the backlog. As a matter of fact, there’s a large amount of the obligations that the banks have already taken up so what happened was that at maturity they actually made the foreign exchange available for those who needed to use it, the importers.
” So we are discussing with them so we can structure their roles, so that’s very different,” Shonubi explained.
He further stated, “Then, there are some customers who still have their own obligations, and part of the instruction of the banks in Nigeria is to also clear that backlog, something we’ve been discussing for a while and expect that we’ll clear it within the next one or two weeks.”
Shonubi also disclosed that the CBN is collaborating with FINTECH companies to modernize the operations of Bureau De Change (BDC) entities in the country. Additionally, he mentioned that the CBN is currently investigating certain BDC agents for violating FX market policies.
Regarding the CBN’s role in the FX market, Shonubi clarified that while the central bank occasionally intervenes to stabilize exchange rates, its contribution to the FX market accounts for less than 25% of total activity.
He refuted reports suggesting that the CBN owed JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs a combined sum of $7.5 billion as of the financial year ending December 2022, stating, “There is no outstanding $7 billion with JPMorgan in any form. It has been widely discussed based on their opinion that was put on paper, but there is no such obligation.”
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