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CBN Injects $2 Billion Into Key Sectors, Cleaning Up FX Backlog

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CBN

CEM REPORT, FINANCE | In a bold move aimed at tackling the persistent foreign exchange (FX) backlog and restoring stability to the financial sector, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has injected a colossal $2 billion into critical sectors of the economy.

This targeted disbursement across manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum marks a significant step towards alleviating the crippling challenges businesses have faced due to limited access to foreign currency.

Hakama Sidi Ali, CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, in a statement on Wednesday, said the initiative not only addresses outstanding liabilities for 14 banks but also initiates settlements with foreign airlines, bringing much-needed relief to a crucial sector burdened by trapped funds.

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However, the CBN’s action isn’t solely focused on alleviating immediate pressures. Ali revealed a commissioned independent forensic review by a reputable firm, uncovering “serious infractions, gross abuse, and significant non-compliance with market regulations” within the system. This grim finding underscores the need for deeper reforms.

“We will not tolerate abuse. Appropriate sanctions will be implemented in collaboration with relevant agencies to address these issues,” emphasized Ali. This unwavering stance on market discipline sends a clear message to ensure ethical practices and safeguard the integrity of the financial landscape.

Restoring trust is paramount for the CBN. Ali reiterated the bank’s commitment to “cleaning up the financial services sector” and fostering “trust among market participants and stakeholders.” This emphasis on transparency and accountability holds immense potential for attracting investments and boosting economic confidence.

[READ ALSO] CBN Clears $61.64 million Forex Backlog for Foreign Airlines

CBN determines to settle FX backlogs

Despite the uncovered irregularities, Ali reaffirmed the CBN’s dedication to settling legitimate FX backlogs, building on its recent track record. Notably, just last week, the bank disbursed $61.64 million to foreign airlines, showcasing a consistent effort to resolve outstanding obligations.

This multi-pronged approach – tackling immediate financial constraints, addressing systemic deficiencies, and prioritizing market integrity – has sparked cautious optimism among market observers. Analysts are keenly watching how these measures will translate into increased FX liquidity, stability in the financial sector, and overall economic growth.

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