The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to deny exporters with unrepatriated export proceeds from accessing all banking services by January 31.
The apex bank issued this directive in a recent circular sent to banks in the country.
Affected exporters are expected to comply with the directive before the specified date. Some banks have already issued a statement directing exporters to comply with the directive.
In August 2020, CBN had instructed banks to submit the names, addresses and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of exporters that have defaulted in repatriating their exports proceeds for further action.
CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Osita Nwanisobi, said the new directive applied to exports up until June 2020.
“Proceeds for oil is to be repatriated within 90 days and non-oil within 180 days,” he said.
The measure, according to CBN officials, is part of effort to defend the country’s currency by targeting importers and exporters with tougher regulations.
Global decline of crude oil prices coupled with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the scarcity of foreign exchange in Nigeria, resulting in a significant difference between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rate.
The differential of about 25 percent between the official rate and the parallel market is an incentive to xporters to divert foreign exchange earnings to unofficial channels.