May 12, 2021

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CBN bars from banking services, exporters involved in sharp practices with forex earnings

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Beginning from tomorrow Monday, 1st February 2021, all exporters that failed to repatriate their foreign exchange earnings will be barred from all banking transactions by the apex bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

Companies to be affected are those that had made exports up to June 2020 and are yet to repatriate their foreign exchange earnings through the banks that were involved in their export of the goods or services.

Sources close to the CBN revealed that the surveillance on all companies and individuals that benefited from the official rate when their letters of credits were opened are now being tracked to ensure foreign currency earnings are repatriated back to the national economy.

It will be recalled that the CBN regulations allow the proceeds from oil sales overseas to be repatriated within 90 days while proceeds from non-oil export is expected to be repatriated within 180 days.

However, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic which instigated a lockdown of the national economy barely a year ago had brought a lot of strain on the nation’s ability to generate the foreign exchange required to grow the economy

The trend whereby a wide disparity exists between the official rate and the parallel market resulted in a huge differential of about 25%, had succeeded in creating an incentive for exporters to divert forex income to unofficial channels.

Hence, the bankers’ bank resolved to breathe down on culpable exporters as another means to shore up the naira against major currencies of the world.

The month of February will provide a clue as to the firmness of the CBN to enforce its policies for the greater good of the national economy and ultimately, its citizenry.

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