President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his regime stopped the sale of foreign exchange to bureau de change (BDC) operators because of corrupt directors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Buhari at an interactive session with the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom on the economy on the sidelines of the Supporting Syria Conference in London, said he discovered that some CBN directors used BDCs that they owned to short change the government.
“We found out that some directors of CBN owned bureau de change and when foreign exchange comes, they take it to their bureau de change and give government the change.
“We had to stop the federal government giving bureau the change. I am explaining this to give a tip of the iceberg of the problem we inherited. We are getting so hard because we have no other [option] than to make everybody accountable.”
According to him, through the Treasury Single Account, he has been able to plug leakages and save N2. 2 trillion.
While acknowledging that the TSA was the initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, the past government did not make use of it.
“When we discovered that we were already in trouble, we tried to enforce the TSA. This government did not initiate it, it was the previous government, but it was so unpopular to the previous government.
“For its own reasons, it couldn’t impose it, but when we came and we found out that we were broke, we saw that this as the way to do it.
“We discovered that the NNPC had more than 45 accounts, the ministry of defence and the military had more than 70 accounts; tell me which of the accounts to trace every year.
“So we enforced TSA, we said there must be TSA, and let me tell you by the end of December coming to January this year, last month we mopped up more than N2.2 trillion,” he explained.