The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its bilateral
currency swap agreement with China was renewed after the expiration of the deal
The apex bank released the details of the 2018 currency swap
agreement with Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) in a freedom of information (FOI)
request sent by Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer.
In May 2018, CBN and PBoC signed a currency swap deal valued
at renminbi (RMB) 16 billion (about $2.5 billion).
The swap deal was signed by Godwin Emefiele, the suspended
CBN governor, and Yi Gang, the former PBoC governor.
The deal was designed to provide the Chinese and Nigerian
currencies directly to industrialists and other businesses from both countries.
“This agreement will provide naira liquidity to Chinese
businesses and provide RMB liquidity to Nigerian businesses respectively,
thereby improving the speed, convenience, and volume of transactions between
the two countries,” CBN had said after the signing of the deal.
In June 2023, Falana sent an FOI request to the CBN to
disclose the details of the currency swap agreement.
In a response to Falana’s request, the apex bank said the
swap deal, which commenced in July 2018, is renewable every three years, adding
that the agreement was renewed after it expired in April 2021.
The CBN disclosed that the sum of 15 billion Chinese yuan
renminbi (CNY) was the “amount usable within the year”.
The financial regulator said since the renewal of the deal,
nine billion yuan have been “drawn”, six billion yuan utilised, while the sum
of three billion yuan is outstanding.
According to the bank, out of the six billion yuan utilised,
the sum of 5.10 billion yuan had been repaid, while 2.10 billion yuan had not
“The swap commenced in July 2018, expired in April 2021, and
was subsequently renewed. The sum of CNY 15.00 billion was the overdraft amount
usable within the year,” the apex bank disclosed this in a response dated
August 8, 2023.
“Since its renewal, CNY9.00 billion had been drawn, CNY6.00
billion utilized and CNY3.00 billion outstanding, and out of the CNY6.00
billion utilized, the sum of CNY5.10 billion had been repaid, while the sum of
CNY2.10 billion had not been utilized, leaving the sum of CNY900.00 million yet
to be repaid. Furthermore, the next renewal is expected to take place in 2024.”
FALANA ASKS NIGERIANS
TO TRANSACT BUSINESS WITH CHINESE PEOPLE IN NAIRA
Commenting on the development, Falana claimed that despite
the currency swap agreement, the federal and state governments, and business
community have been “prevented from transacting business in naira and yuan”.
“The swap was also
designed to improve the speed, convenience, and volume of transactions between
the two countries. But the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,
which superintend the Central Bank of Nigeria, have colluded with the Central
Bank of Nigeria to frustrate the currency swap.
“The purpose of the economic sabotage is to promote the
dominance of the United States Dollar in Nigeria. Hence, the federal
government, state governments, and the business community have been prevented
from transacting business in Naira and Yuan. Thus, by compelling Nigerians to
pay dollars for goods imported from China, the Central Bank has continued to
promote the unwarranted dollarisation of the Nigerian economy.
The human rights lawyer asked Nigerians to use naira as
payment for goods imported from China.
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