By Babajide Komolafe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has clarified the statement made by the Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at Tuesday’s post-Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting briefing, warning bank customers against converting the naira to foreign exchange, for electioneering purposes.
Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, made the clarification in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, following what he described as attempts by persons to deliberately misrepresent the import of Emefiele’s caution on electioneering spending by the political class.
According to Nwanisobi, the warning by the CBN Governor was to those who sought to convert the Naira from their accounts into foreign exchange for election campaigns and not those who seek to exchange the currency for legitimate purposes such as payment for tuition and other personal expenses.
Reiterating the apex bank’s position, he said the CBN also frowned 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.
While maintaining that the CBN in line with its mandate, had discretionary power to prevent persons from conducting unauthorized transactions, Nwanisobi said the CBN was within its statutory limits to mop up the excess liquidity in the vaults of the institutions it regulates, so they do not get involved in speculative activities.
He, therefore, urged bank customers not to get involved in unauthorized movement of funds for currency conversion in order not to fall foul of the extant laws of the land. Nwanisobi also admonished Nigerians to be more patriotic as it relates to the Naira, noting that it is the duty of every citizen to support the CBN in preserving the intranational value of the Naira.
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