BusinessFake News: No Plans To Convert Domiciliary Account Holdings Into Naira -...

Fake News: No Plans To Convert Domiciliary Account Holdings Into Naira – CBN

February 03, (THEWILL) – The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has refuted reports that the Federal Government is planning to convert $30 billion domiciliary deposits to Naira.

The rebuttal followed report by a national newspaper (not THEWILL), that the Federal Government was considering a policy that will result in the conversion of foreign currencies in domiciliary accounts of citizens to Naira, to stabilise the Naira.

“The problem of dollar scarcity is an elite problem. You will notice that this happens at the end and the beginning of a new month. That is when the exchange rate goes up. Invariably, that is when governors collect FAAC (Federal Account Allocation Committee) allocations. Whatever the connection, we don’t know.

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“There is no country in the world where people open domiciliary accounts to keep dollars. It happens only in Nigeria. This must be addressed. This is not only a political issue, but it is also an economic issue that must be addressed. Genuine demands driven by economic activities can’t bring this huge pressure. By June, dollar demands are supposed to have gone down when Dangote Refinery must have started.

“Nobody should keep a domiciliary account if they do not have legitimate foreign currency earnings like salary or getting foreign exchange revenue, either as an individual or as a company. Even if you have foreign exchange inflow as a result of your work, immediately after the money lands in your account, the banks should automatically change it to the local currency and your local currency account will be credited with the equivalent value.

“In Nigeria today, there are over $30bn in domiciliary accounts of individuals. It is in the CBN account. The records are there. It is not right. These are issues we will have to deal with. In other countries, dollars are not meant to stay in peoples’ accounts”, the report quoted a Presidency source.

However, describing the report as fake, the apex bank in a statement, signed on Saturday, by its Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, urged all stakeholders to disregard stories aimed at causing panic in the system and regard them as acts of national sabotage

The statement read: “The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to a story published by a national newspaper alleging that the Federal Government is considering converting $30bn domiciliary deposits to Naira.

“This allegation is absolutely false and aims to trigger panic in the foreign exchange market, which the CBN is working assiduously to stabilize, as evidenced by its recent work and policy directions.

“Similar false narratives have been spread on the work of the CBN over the past few months and it is clear that vested interests are determined to sabotage our efforts.

“We want to assure the general public that CBN is working to build confidence and would never do anything to undermine the currency and the economy.

“We, therefore, urge all stakeholders to disregard stories aimed at causing panic in the system and see them clearly for what they are – acts of national sabotage.

“We wish to advise, in the strongest terms, against the peddling of false reports that have the potential to be disruptive to the economy. The Bank is the only designated authority for monetary policy changes and will always advise on any policy change(s) before they are brought into operation.

“The CBN is always open to answer questions about our policies.”

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