CBN ends airlines’ FX backlog verification, clears fresh $64.44m

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has confirmed the conclusion of the verified backlog owed foreign airlines with an additional $64.44 million release.

The ICIR confirmed that this latest disbursement brings the total verified amount paid to airlines to $136.73 million.

The CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, in a statement on Tuesday, January 30, affirmed that the CBN governor Olayemi Cardoso and his team were determined to tackle outstanding forex obligations across other sectors.

Ali added that the CBN aimed for a robust and liquid forex market, warning participants against manipulative activities that could harm the naira.

She, therefore, called for collaborative efforts and adherence to regulations to ensure market forces rightfully determine exchange rates.

Part of the statement reads, “The Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, and his team were doubly committed and would stop at nothing to ensure that the verified backlog of payments across all other sectors was cleared and confidence was restored in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.

“Furthermore, she assured that the CBN was working with stakeholders to ensure liquidity improves within the forex market, thereby reducing pressure on the naira.

“While expressing optimism that the market would respond positively with the latest injection of over $64 million, she admonished actors in the foreign exchange market to guard against speculation as such actions could hurt the naira.”

She further called on the public to support the reforms in the foreign exchange market, adding that the CBN would continue to promote orderliness and professional conduct by all Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market participants to ensure market forces determine exchange rates.

    Notably, in the last three months, the CBN successfully cleared over $2.5 billion in overdue foreign exchange forwards, aiming to resolve the backlog of dollars in Africa’s largest economy.

    However, this has not impacted Nigeria’s currency market as the naira continues on a downward spiral.

    For instance, the naira reached a historic low of N1,348.63 at the official market and N1,450 at the parallel market on Monday, January 29.

    The ICIR reported threats by foreign Airlines to exit the country due to a backlog of about $800 million.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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