Cardoso talks tough: Central Bank will “do what it takes”

Nigeria’s Central Bank has entered an “aggressive regulatory environment,” threatening to deal with players who don’t follow the rules, per answers from Olayemi Cardoso, the bank’s governor, in today’s monetary committee meeting. 

Facing FX volatility, the bank has adopted a raft of measures to bring stability and in today’s meeting, Cardoso spoke about collaborating with law enforcement agencies to enforce guidelines. He didn’t specify the guidelines law enforcement would enforce.

“People will have to abide by those regulations and those that do not would face consequences for not doing so,” Cardoso said in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon. “We will do what we have to do.”

Already, the bank raised the benchmark lending rate by 400 basis points to 22.75%, from 18.75%, in one swell move today, vowing to make more shocking policy moves in an attempt to resolve the country’s economic woes.

The CBN also promised to generate more liquidity for the forex market. “Just today, we paid out another $400 million dollars that were so identified. In terms of the reserves, it has gone up to $34 billion,” the CBN governor said in today’s meeting, hinting that some of its recent moves—has paid off.

Regulations on Binance

Part of those aggressive moves involves CBN’s recent decision to prevent Nigerian users from selling USDT, on Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Cardoso defended this move by calling the funds transfer through Binance “illicit flows.” 

According to him, “$26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot identify.” 

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