‘Why House of Reps should intensify anti-graft war’

Our Reporter

The decision of the House of Representatives to probe critical financial institutions on forex transactions has received a boost from the human rights community who describe the move as a milestone that will open a can of worms.

There were reports last week that the House of Representatives will investigate the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services, (FIRS) over forex transactions and allocations.

Economic experts say the loss in illicit forex transactions is in the range of $30billion, which they insist also weakens the naira in the international market.

Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre), in a letter, addressed to the House of Representatives signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju commended the lawmakers’ decision to beam the searchlight on the apex bank describing it as an important turning point in ensuring the CBN and FIRS act in accordance with global best practices.

The letter with the caption ‘Solidarity and Support for the Probe of Central Bank of Nigeria Over forex Racketeering’ was addressed to the House Committee Chairman, James Faleke.

HEDA said the investigation and scrutiny by the House of Representatives is a step in the right direction adding that the group is willing to support in providing any further clarifications and answer to any questioning that would further the cause of investigation.

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“The local and international communities are watching with keen interest the plan to probe the CBN and the FIRS on forex. There has been series of allegations of sharp practices in forex dealings against CBN and FIRS officials.

The time to establish the truth has come,” HEDA said in a letter sent to the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Banking and Currency.

There have been lingering allegations of racketeering in the allocation of foreign exchange by the two leading foreign exchange hub.

The House of Representatives took the decision after adopting the motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by the Chairman, Committee on Finance, James Faleke.

He had argued for the urgent need to rescue Nigeria from over $30billion annual leakages arising from skewed allocation of foreign exchange.

The prime beneficiaries suspects are the CBN, Autonomous, Interbank, Domiciliary and Over-the-Counter Purchases for the Importation of Physical Goods, Payment of Foreign Service Vendors, Dividend Repatriation, Foreign Loan and Interest Payments, including Foreign Currency Denominated Contracts’ Payments by Companies in Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Marine Transportation.

HEDA said it was delighted with the conclusion in the motion,that the leakages by CBN and other agencies has resulted in the loss of revenue worth over $30billion.

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