JUST IN: CBN Clears Valid FX Transactions, Eliminates $7bn Legacy Backlog  

Higher Interest Rate Likely As Cardoso Maintains Hawkish Stance 

Clears Valid Transactions, Eliminates $7bn Legacy Backlog  

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The Central Bank of (CBN) has announced that all valid foreign exchange backlogs have now been settled, thereby fulfilling a key pledge of the , Olayemi Cardoso, to process an inherited backlog of $7billion in claims.

This was disclosed by the apex bank's acting director, Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, in on Wednesday.

Mrs Ali noted that the CBN recently concluded the payment of $1.5 billion to settle obligations to bank customers, effectively settling the residual balance of the FX backlog. She also disclosed that independent auditors from Deloitte Consulting meticulously assessed the transactions, ensuring that only legitimate claims were honoured.

She added that any invalid transaction was promptly referred to the relevant authorities for further scrutiny.

At a recent meeting, Cardoso declared: “We made clearing the FX backlog a priority to restore credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

 

“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. This encumbrance to market confidence in the country's ability to meet its obligations is now totally behind us,” he added.

Clearance of the foreign exchange transactions backlog is part of the overall strategy detailed in last month's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting to stabilise the and thereby curb imported inflation, spurring confidence in the banking system and the economy.

Cardoso used the MPC meeting and a subsequent conference call with foreign portfolio investors to set expectations for sustained increases in Nigeria's foreign currency reserves and improved liquidity in the .

The CBN followed this month by reporting a significant increase in external reserves, rising by $993 to $34.11 billion as of March 7, 2024, the highest level in eight months. The month-on-month increase was driven by a marked advance in remittance payments by overseas, as well as higher purchases of local assets, including government debt securities, by foreign investors.

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