Ex-Minister berates Nigerian banks over Forex Scarcity

Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Mr Kenneth Gbagi, has berated Nigeria commercial banks for their roles in Nigeria’s financial and economic woes.

Mr Gbagi, former Minister of Education

Mr Kenneth Gbagi, former Minister of Education

Gbagi, who served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, accused the banks of financial activities endangering Nigeria’s economy through shady and malicious disbursement of foreign exchange to cronies, associates and foreigners.

The former minister said that the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration might not be able to solve the problem of perennial foreign exchange scarcity until commercial banks and their operators are made to account for the disbursement of all dollar allocations from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Gbagi, who is also a legal practitioner dismissed the claim that Nigeria currently does not have enough foreign exchange, said that Nigeria has enough dollars to meet the demands of genuine end users in manufacturing and other services.
He, however, accused banks of deliberately sabotaging Nigeria’s economy by selling the dollars to their cronies, friends and associates, who are non-Nigerians, carting the money abroad.
He said that people that are currently having access to dollars from commercial banks, engage in hoarding or capital flight as they did not believe in the ability of Nigeria’s economy to rebound strongly.
The former minister said that there would be enough dollars in circulation to force down the current high exchange rate if President Buhari directs the CBN to instruct all commercial banks in Nigeria to give an account of how they have disbursed the dollars allocated to them and for what purpose.
He also said EFFC, CBN and other financial intelligence services have failed Nigerians for their inability to identify financial and economic criminals, who engage in dubious dollar transactions to the detriment of the country.
Gbagi claimed that every single dollar in the last 16 years allocated by the CBN to commercial banks or any other relevant agency is traceable if the government has the will to deal with economic and financial criminals and their accomplices operating as commercial banks and bureau de change in Nigeria.
He added that the EFCC and ICPC should be given more powes to operate as independent organisations and commissions and they should be commended where positive results are achieved.
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