CBN Clears $7 Billion FX Backlogs, Boosts Market Confidence

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fulfilled a crucial commitment by settling all valid foreign exchange backlogs totaling $7 billion, as announced by its Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardosoo.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mrs. Hakama Sidi Ali, the CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, confirmed that independent auditors from Deloitte Consulting meticulously assessed the transactions, ensuring that only legitimate claims were honored.
The recent completion of a $1.5 billion payment to settle obligations to bank customers effectively cleared the residual balance of the FX backlog.
Governor Cardoso emphasized the priority placed on clearing the FX backlog to restore credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.
He stated, “It was important that we go through an independent and credible process that would determine the authenticity of those obligations, and, at this point, I can tell you that we have now cleared all genuine, verifiable transactions.”
The clearance of the foreign exchange transactions backlog aligns with the overall strategy outlined in last month’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting to stabilize the exchange rate and curb imported inflation, thereby bolstering confidence in the banking system and the economy.
Governor Cardoso, during the MPC meeting and subsequent conference calls with foreign portfolio investors, set expectations for sustained increases in Nigeria’s foreign currency reserves and improved liquidity in the foreign exchange market.
This month, the CBN reported a significant increase in external reserves, reaching $34.11 billion as of March 7, 2024, the highest level in eight months.
The month-on-month increase was driven by a notable surge in remittance payments by Nigerians overseas and higher purchases of local assets, including government debt securities, by foreign investors.
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