Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of selling foreign exchange to moribund companies through what it called man-know-man connection only to resell genuine companies. In a statement by its President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye and Secretary General, Comrade Musa-Lawal Ozigi and made available to The Nation in Abuja, the Congress challenged the apex bank to make public the list of companies applying for forex or face legal action.
The labour body asked the apex bank to exercise caution in the implementation of its policies, pointing out that stakeholders must be adequately considered while taking critical decision on the economy as such unilateral decisions are capable of crippling economic activities. The statement reads: “the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) challenges the Central Bank of Nigeria to make public the list of companies applying for forex if its report as published in the dailies on the subject matter is anything to go by. It is disheartening to read the apex bank say it is going to reduce its forex to companies at this time. The question is, why punish functional companies?
“As a stakeholder, we know there is a problem somewhere which the CBN cannot deny. There are many companies that have closed shop but have become dollar agents, using their man-know-man connection to access forex, only to re-sell. “These fictitious companies have to be removed from the list so the active ones can manage the little forex that is available. The list has to be released by the CBN, else we may be left with no option than to go to court.
“If we import milk worth $1.2 billion yearly as claimed by the Ministry of Agriculture, what effort is the country making to reduce or probably end importation of dairies foods in the nearest future? “That is exactly how the civilised countries got to where they are today, not by mere rhetorics. “We wish our policy makers manage their private businesses same way they manage the nation’s economy! If we cannot plan to address our deficit in the shortest time possible then there is a problem. “The decision to end importation is a welcome development but there has to be public engagement, else the newly signed African Continent Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) will seriously affect the economy.” The Nation
Pix: CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele