Some federal agencies in Nigeria have complained about their operations being “frustrated” due to the “delay” by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to respond to official communications from them.
At least three of the agencies – one from the maritime sector and two from communications – have told PREMIUM TIMES how they have had to wait “endlessly” on several occasions for their email to be responded to by the CBN.
The agencies did not want their names mentioned in the report for fear of victimisation from CBN officials.
They said all their communications, based on CBN instruction, are routed to the apex bank through a general email address, email@example.com, which they claimed makes it difficult for any particular CBN official to be held accountable for communications that have been delayed or not responded to.
“It takes up to four weeks for them to approve requests and instructions from MDAs for the conversion and transfer of funds from their dollar domiciliary account with the CBN to their naira Remita account in the same CBN,” a top official of one of the agencies told PREMIUM TIMES, Monday.
“It takes over three to four weeks of pressure and lobbying before CBN responds to requests for bank statements or balances.
“MDAs are required by CBN to forward their requests to a general email address and they have no way of reaching responsible officials to file complaints. MDAs have been frustrated and undermined and impeded from implementing the programmes of the Federal Government.
“Is this a case of inefficiency on the part of the CBN? Is this a case of corruption and sabotage?” the official said.
“Ordinarily, requests for bank statements, fund transfers should be handled electronically and instantaneously. Why are they making it difficult for MDAs to access their funds to pay salaries and meet their daily obligations?” she added.
An official of another agency said the CBN’s attitude towards their official communication was affecting the agency’s overall performance and the ease of doing business.
The CBN has, however, described the claim as untrue.
“It couldn’t have been true,” the CBN spokesperson, Osita Nwanisobi, told PREMIUM TIMES, Tuesday evening.
Mr Nwanisobi said the email address in question belongs to the banking services department of the CBN, and that there was no way the department would not have its officials respond to emails.
“The email address that you are talking about, somebody held it. Not only one person, there are people who manned it and they receive these things on a daily basis and they work on it,” he said.
Mr Nwanisobi said his office would investigate the claim if furnished with evidence.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999