The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that its citizens have about $20 billion (N3.94 trillion) lying idle in different domiciliary accounts across the country which is part of the reasons why the naira has continued to slide against the US dollar.
This was made known at a meeting of the Joint Appropriation Committees of the National Assembly with government officials on the 2016 budget.
CBN Deputy Governor on Financial System Surveillance, CBN, Dr. Joseph Nnanna, alleged that some privileged Nigerians were behind the consistent slide in the value of the naira by embarking on dollar speculation to the detriment of the local currency.
Dr. Nnanna, however, expressed hope that the passage of the 2016 budget would put a stop to the unrestrained drop in the value of the naira.
The CBN will embark on aggressive liquidity mop-up to enable the naira regain confidence. The CBN will not sit down and watch the consistent fall of the naira. After the passage of the 2016 budget, the naira will begin to bounce back.
Those who speculate on dollars will have their fingers burnt.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in her submission, told the committee that the amount in the Treasury Single Account had risen to N2.9 trillion.
Adeosun explained that the money in the TSA was not meant to fund the budget contrary to a general impression, but that the money belonged to different agencies of government, which had the right to access the funds.
Her explanation was against suggestions by the legislators that the Federal Government should use the TSA to fund the 2016 budget amidst liquidity problem arising from the slump in global crude oil prices.
The Minister explained that all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government had their monies transferred into the TSA and should have access to them.
She said that the government had commenced the training of its personnel on the operation of the TSA such that any agency of government that needed its share of the funds in the account would not find it difficult accessing it.