16 February 2017

Nigeria: CBN Directs Banks to File Forex Returns in Dollars

Photo: Premium Times
Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has directed banks to file their returns on the sale of foreign currency in dollars to avoid ambiguities.

The Acting Director of Communications in CBN, Isaac Okorafor, announced the new directive in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the new directive was to stop further misunderstanding of the foreign exchange reports, especially regarding third party transactions.

Sometime ago, there were allegations of inconsistencies in the foreign exchange rates given to foreign exchange buyers by the CBN.

The CBN was alleged to have sold naira at ridiculous rates of N18, N25, N100 to the dollar when it was going for average of N198 before June 2016 and N307 after the introduction of the new foreign exchange policy.

"Following observations of different exchange rates after the last publication on our website, we called for explanations from the banks concerned.

"In response to our queries to them, apart from some observed formatting errors, the concerned banks reported that the returns were sent on the basis which the transactions were conducted.

"The transactions concerned were consummated in third currencies such as Japanese Yen and South African Rand (YEN/ZAR), Euros to Dollars and Dollars to South African Rand (USD/ZAR).

"As a result, there is no way any DMB or the CBN will deal in forex transaction at the rate of 61 kobo to the dollar, N18 to the or N3 to the dollar as was erroneously reported.

"The aforementioned are third currency transactions and when properly translated, will be in line with the prevailing forex rate range in the interbank market," Okorafor said.

Mr. Okorafor said that CBN had not received any query from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice over issues relating to the sale of foreign exchange.

"While it is perfectly normal for any agency of Government to seek clarifications on any matter, we wish to state that neither the Governor of the CBN nor the Director, Legal Services Department, has received any communication with regard to the issue.

"The CBN, as a responsible and responsive arm of government, will always provide clarifications on any matter within its purview for the purpose of educating and enlightening all concerned.

"Accordingly, we wish to reiterate that the CBN does not deal directly with any bank customer on foreign exchange transactions.

"Such transactions are consummated strictly between the customers and their respective Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)," he said.

Mr. Okorafor said that for transparency, the CBN published and would continue to publish reports on purchases and sales of foreign exchange between the DMBs and their customers as submitted by the banks without editing.

(NAN)

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