From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has described corruption allegation levelled against it by a group known as Nigerian Wailers as baseless, describing it as a failed attempt to distract the apex bank from discharging its lawful duties.
Spokesman of CBN, Isaac Okorafor, described the group as paid hirelings and a bunch of blackmailers fighting for the interest of those who want to destroy the Nigerian economy. The group, which goes by the tag, OccupyCBN, had threatened to protest efforts of the CBN to conserve scarce foreign exchange.
Okorafor added that the group remains a paid agent of some selfish interest groups and enemies of the Nigerian economy. He said further that “the allegations are totally false and fabricated.” According to him, there is no iota of truth to these allegations. He said that the CBN did not allocate or sell any $12 million to anybody. He challenged the group to show proof, stating that such a thing is not possible under the new forex system.
The CBN spokesman, “these paid agents of selfish interests and the enemies of the Nigerian economy will fail in their bid to distract the CBN and the Federal Government from their focus on the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from import and crude oil dependency.”
The CBN spokesman pointed out that “some powerful interests want the CBN and government to reverse the policy on conservation of forex and sabotage the ongoing efforts to wean Nigerians from senseless importation.” He opined that they want to create markets for importers to the overall detriment of the Nigerian economy.
He went further to state that no amount of blackmail will make the CBN allow a practice where farmers and industrialists who have invested heavily and employed youths in the production of Nigerian made rice, fish, industrial starch, palm produce, wheat, toothpicks, wines, etc, would be made to close their farms and factories again.
He noted that, “what these charlatans and hirelings want are basically twofold; first, they want the CBN to give out the nation’s scarce foreign exchange to their sponsors to import all manner of foreign goods and dump them on our markets, thereby frustrating the good work our own farmers and manufacturers have begun. Second, they want the CBN to fold its arms and allow currency speculators to drive the naira down to a level at which it will be easy for their paymasters to buy up and take control of the Nigerian economy.
They have even gone to the extent of making false allegations that some banks are having trouble just to trigger panic in the financial system. These will not happen,” he stated emphatically.
According to Okorafor, “it will be economically suicidal for the CBN to allocate our scarce forex to those who will engage in another escapade in senseless importation, which will again discourage our local producers who have borrowed money to engage in agriculture and local manufacturing.”
He noted that it will be dangerous to peasants in the rural areas and the masses of Nigerian workers who are on fixed incomes for the CBN to allow speculators to drive the value of the naira to any level just for the selfish gains of the sponsors of these arranged protests. “We will not succumb to blackmail,” he said.
On the issue of the CBN funding the Federal Government budget, Okorafor said this has been long addressed, with clear figures which have been widely publicised. He restated that the role of the CBN as banker to the Federal Government is to do exactly what had been done and it is within the limits specified by law.
He queried if the so-called group would want the CBN to withhold advances so that the government collapses.
Nigerian Wailers had in a statement signed by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Fasipe Oluyemi, called on the good people of Nigeria to come out en mass for a protest (#OccupyCBN) to stop the impunity of the fraudulent forex trading, round tripping and racketeering going on in the Central Bank of Nigeria aided by its Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and bring to an end the manipulation of forex, illegally funding Federal Government budget, shortchanging the Money Deposit Banks’ reserve ratio at the expense of the masses as the abuse of internal process.