CBN To Sanction Exporters On Forex Repatriation

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will begin to sanction exporters that fail to repatriate proceeds of the good sold to the country within 90 days in a bid to reduce capital flight from the West African country, chief executive of a local unit of Citibank said.
Akin Dawodu, who said this on Tuesday while briefing journalists after the meeting of bank chief executives, noted that exporters that fail to repatriate export proceeds could be banned from access the official foreign exchange market.
“Oil export proceeds have to be repatriated within 90 days and non-oil proceeds within 180 days. In the spirit of supporting the reserves position and economic growth, stricter measures were agreed regarding the repatriation of export proceeds, particularly oil export proceeds.
“A 90-day moratorium has been agreed for customers and corporate clients who have not repatriated their export proceeds within the stipulated timeframe for any delays to be cleared.
“After that, the CBN has the right to sanction any customer that defaults. The sanction may include banning people from the forex window or more stringent measures.
“We think this is very important as a body to ensure that the rules are adhered to,” he said.
Also at the meeting of the bank chief, the central bank announced its decision to end commission charged on customers by individual banks for buying dollars under the “Invisibles Segment.”
The regulatory bank directed all commercial lenders to sell foreign currencies directly to individuals seeking basic travel allowance, medical tourism, school fees under the invisible transactions at the rate of N360 to the dollar only and without additional charges or commission on such transactions
The measure intends to provide some sort of palliatives for individuals to at least take an advantage, as well as ensure uniform activity across banks.
Despite the development, the apex bank is yet to review the rate at which it sells forex to banks and the Bureaux De Change (BDCs) under the Invisibles Segment, holding at N357/$ and N360/$ respectively.
But the development may soon upset the forex market, as the currency sellers have been agitating over the rate disparity, alleging that it is not a “level playing” ground for their members, who have lost customers and folded up due to low patronage.
Source: Reuters

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