Following the dwindling values of the naira, and the possible concerns recently expressed by the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, on the continued spending of foreign currencies by public officials, the Central Bank of Nigeria has moved to check the mopping up of dollars at the forex market.
The CBN says it’s monitoring the foreign exchange market to prevent politicians planning to buy dollars and other foreign currencies to fund their campaigns.
Recall that Mr Obi in some of his media interviews decried the brazen use of foreign currencies, particularly the dollars, by politicians and government officials.
Obi had said that every country’s economy is measured by the strength of its currency and described as a deviation from international standards government officials and politicians spending foreign currencies boldly and without shame.
Apparently in response to Obi’s public denouncing of the situation, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on Wednesday announced that the apex bank is monitoring forex, and warned politicians mopping up dollars to fund their 2023 elections to note its illegality.
According to Emefiele, such action is illegal and could warrant a clampdown from security agents as he warned ‘those who want to take naira from their account to buy dollars because of elections to desist’.
The CBN boss threatened to freeze any bank account found to be involved in illegal transaction of dollars and Post No Debt (PND) will be placed on accounts caught in the act.
But economic watchers who welcomed the CBN move as a good development have the LP party presidential candidate to thank for crying out and drawing attention to such illicit act that is affecting the economy greatly.
Prof Samuel Muhu, a lecturer, said, “We have Obi to thank for raising the timely alarm. The CBN watched and even aided politicians in the two main political parties, the APC and the PDP, as they rained dollars freely during their national conventions last month.”