The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has barred nine commercial banks from all foreign exchange transactions and operations.
The banks were barred for allegedly hiding some $2.12billion belonging to the nation’s oil corporation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and failed to remit the funds into the Treasury Single Account.
A senior CBN official told Channels Television on Tuesday, that President Muhammadu Buhari had been briefed on the matter and the sanctions to be imposed on the defaulting banks.
The nine banks comprise of three tier-one lenders and another six tier-two deposit money banks.
All the banks remain barred from foreign exchange operations until they fully remit the NNPC funds into government coffers via the Treasury Single Account, the apex bank said.
The Treasury Single Account of the government was established in August 2015, with the government saying it would help check leakages in the system.
The apex bank’s decision to bar the banks comes two months after it released the highlights of the much awaited flexible foreign exchange market policy.
In October 2016, the CBN fined two leading banks for the same offence repeated in 2016, leading to the payment of over N4 billion to the apex bank.
This time around, all the banks involved are barred from the forex market until they fully refund the $2.1 billion held up in their coffers.
Source; The Cable, Daily Post Nigeria