…to sanction Companies, Banks for policy circumvention
By Etuka Sunday
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has included fertilizer in the list of items not valid for foreign exchange in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
In a Circular signed by the Director, Trade & Exchange Department, CBN, Ahmed B. Umar, the apex banks said, Authorised Dealers and the general public are hereby notified of the inclusion of “Fertilizer” on the list effective Friday December 07, 2018.
However, the Circular said, CBN will ensure that transactions (From ‘M’) on fertilizer for which payments outstanding are settled at the appropriate settlement dates.
Meanwhile, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Kevin N. Amugo said, trade information available to the CBN indicates the circumvention of the policy as the restricted items are being dumped in the country.
In a letter to all the banks in Nigeria, he said, the implications are that the growth and employment benefits arising from the policy may be eroded if not checked.
He said, “the CBN views this development with trepidation. The Economic Intelligence Unit of the Bank in collaboration with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would commence immediate investigation of the accounts of the corporates and entities engaged in this unwholesome act with a view to visiting severe sanctions on all the culprits.
“Such sanctions would among others include blacklisting the corporates and their directors; closure of their bank accounts; and restricting them from maintaining any bank accounts in any bank under the CBN remit. Banks that provided their platforms for such economic abuses would also be appropriately sanctioned.
“Banks are by this notice advised on strict compliance with the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Customer Business (KYB) requirements and to be properly guided,” he warned.