With the value of the Naira down to all-time low of N710 to a dollar last week, fresh facts have revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd remitted a total of $2.7 billion into its accounts with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) between January and June this year, contrary to CBN’s claim of non-remittances of foreign currencies.
The CBN had, in reaction to the naira free fall in recent times, said the non-remittance of dollars by the NNPC precipitated the forex crisis.
In a report entitled: “The forex question in Nigeria: Fact sheet,” the CBN said there had been “zero-dollar remittances to the country’s foreign reserve by the NNPC.”
Checks have however revealed that the NNPC Ltd remitted $2.7billion into CBN in the first six months of this year. Available records also showed that out of the $2.7 billion the NNPC remitted into its CBN accounts, $645million was for dividend paid by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Company Ltd, while $1.786billion was from the NNPC operational activities.
A breakdown of the NNPC remittances showed that funds into the NNPC accounts came thus: $18,770,418.97 (January 2022), $194,563,276.49 (February 2022) and $373, 232,875.20 (March 2022).
Other NNPC remittances were $247,884,295.52 (April 2022), $591,565,425.41 (May 2022) and $880, 906, 761.81 (June 2022).
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has been in the eye of the storm following the weakening of the naira.
The Senate had on Wednesday summoned Emefiele to explain the weakening of the naira value and to proffer the way forward.
Following a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the Senate, apart from summoning the CBN boss, also mandated its Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to critically look into the intervention funds CBN earmarked to support some sectors of the economy.
In his motion seeking Emefiele’s summoning, Senator Adetumbi said CBN earlier ban of forex sales to BDC operators caused a spike in exchange rate. He stated that a few people benefit from the import-export window meant to serve the forex needs of business enterprises.
According to him, even the Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) are not accessible as less than 20 per cent of the total forex demand by travellers and businesses is met by CBN.
The CBN has been blaming the rapid depreciation of the value of the Naira to so many factors without taking any blame.
In 2018, Emefiele blamed forex crisis on the importation of items he said ought to have been manufactured in Nigeria, leading to the ban of Forex allocation for 41 items.
In 2021, Emefiele shifted the blame to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, who he accused of illegal forex trading. He pointed fingers at “Aboki FX,” saying it’s activities were responsible for the naira depreciation, thereby cutting allocation to BDC.
This year, the CBN has blamed the forex crisis on money laundering and activities of those allegedly funding terrorism as well as politicians but none of these has provided solution to naira value.