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CBN Directs Bank To Publish Names Of Forex Defaulters

Ebuka Daniel

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all banks to publish names of customers that are circumventing the new foreign exchange policy.

The apex bank said this in a circular dated August 30 with reference number BSD/DIR/PUB/LAB/14/059 and addressed to all banks in Nigeria.

The CBN in the circular which was signed by the Director, Banking Supervision Department, Haruna Mustafa, stated that it had received and noted with concern reports of sharp practices by some unscrupulous customers to circumvent the new CBN policy on the sale of forex for overseas personal and business travel.

Some of these unwholesome practices, according to the CBN, include the use of fake visas and cancellation of air tickets after purchase of PTA/BTA.

The apex bank stated that this trend, if not curbed, portends risk to the integrity and stability of the forex market.

It said, “Consequently, further to the various measures already put in place, all banks are hereby directed to publish on their websites the names and BVN of defaulting customers who present fake travel documents or cancel their tickets and fail to return the purchased PTA/BTA within two (weeks) as stipulated in the customer declaration form signed by them.”

The CBN had stopped forex to the Bureau De Change Operators expressing disappointment and great concerns that the BDCs had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail user.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele had said, “Operators in the BDC have not reciprocated the gesture to help maintain price stability in the market since the CBN had been selling forex to them.

“They have remained renegade and so greedy, recalcitrant with abnormally high profit from these sales while ordinary Nigerians have been left to feel the pain and therefore suffer.

“Given this rent seeking behaviour, it is not surprising that since the CBN began to sell forex to the BDCs, the number of operators has risen from mere 74 in 2005 to over 2,700 in 2016, and almost 5,500 BDCs as at today.

“In addition, the CBN constantly receives nothing less than 500 new applications from BDC licences every month, and we therefore begin to wonder, what is in this business that everybody must be in it?”

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