The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has hinted that some privileged Nigerians are behind the fall of the naira, adding that about $20 billion is being kept idle in some domiciliary accounts in the country.
The shocking disclosure is even more perplexing as the country country goes cap in hand begging for foreign loan despite this massive dollar treasure in Nigerian banks.
The figure of idle dollars is $7.8 billion less than the entire national reserve of $27.8 billion, managed by the Central Bank.
The CBN Governor’s disclosure, was made at a session of the joint committee on appropriation of the National Assembly where he was represented by the Deputy Governor in charge of Financial System Surveillance, Mr. Joseph Nanna.
According to him, keeping the huge volume of dollars idle had compounded the forex crisis confronting the country.
“As I’m talking to you, $20billion is in various domiciliary accounts of individuals. Naira is our currency, why are they keeping the foreign currency? From my experience in the international finance, I have never seen a country where its nationals speculate on its currency,” he said.
Nana further said that the naira would pick up after the passage of the 2016 budget. “This is part of the reasons why the naira has continued to slide against the US dollar. The CBN will embark on aggressive liquidity mop-up to enable the naira regain confidence.
“The CBN will not sit down and watch the consistent fall of the naira. After the passage of the 2016 budget, the naira will begin to bounce back. Those who speculate on dollars will have their fingers burnt.”