The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday dismissed allegation of corruption against it by a little known group which goes by the name, the Nigerian Wailers.
The group had in a statement signed by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Fasipe Oluyemi, called on Nigerians “to come out en mass for a protest (OccupyCBN) to stop this 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, short-changing the Money Deposit Bank’s reserve ratio at the expense of the Masses as the abuse of internal process.”
However, Isaac Okorafor, CBN’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications waved aside the claims, declaring that “the Wailing Wailers are paid agents and they will fail again!”
Okorafor in a statement said: “First, let me say this. The allegations are totally false and fabricated. Such a thing is not possible under the new forex system. It is not enough to make wild allegations.
“Those who are 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.”
Okoroafor said that no amount of blackmail will make the CBN allow a practice where by “our farmers and industrialists who have invested heavily and employed our youths in the production of Nigerian made rice, fish, industrial starch, palm produce, wheat, tooth pick, wines, etc would be made to close their farms and factories again.
“What these charlatans and hirelings want are basically twofold. First they want the CBN to give out the nations 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.
“Nigerians have rejected these foreign agents. 26 states have adopted the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP). Nigeria is set to be self-sufficient in rice, fish and wheat production. What happened during the past Christmas and new year celebrations has proved this.
“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.
“It will be dangerous to our poor people in the rural areas and indeed to 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 arrangee protests. We will not succumb to blackmail.
“Again, the issue of the CBN funding the Federal Government budget has been long addressed with clear figures which have been widely publicised. Let me once again state that the role of the CBN as banker to the Federal Government is to do exactly what we have done and within the limits specified by law.
“Or would the so called group want the CBN to withhold advances so that the government will collapse?” Okoroafor stated.