- CBN Reforms Capital Importation to Attract Foreign Investors
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday announced that it would start issuing electronic certificates for capital imported into the country, in a bid to improve its currency transfer process.
According to a circular issued by the CBN, the new certificate will replace a hard copy now issued when capital is imported.
The regulator said the move would enhance transparency and efficient processing of foreign investment.
The circular, dated September 7, and signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN, W.D Gotring, read in part, “In a bid to enhance transparency and efficient processing of foreign investment flows into the country, the CBN hereby informs authorised dealers and the public of the deployment of Electronic Certificate of Capital Importation platform.
“Accordingly, the eCCI shall replace the hard copy CCI normally issued in respect of any capital inflow either in form of cash or machinery/equipment. Consequently, effective from Monday September 11, the processing of CCI in Nigeria shall only be done electronically on the eCCI platform.”
Investors or companies are required by a 1995 law to get certificates within 24 hours declaring they have invested foreign currency in Nigeria. They must have the certificates to repatriate returns on those investments.
Under the old rule, investors struggled to meet the one-day deadline to get the certificates, according to bankers.
The economy grew out of recession in the second quarter as oil revenues rose, but the pace of growth was slow, suggesting a fragile recovery, according to a Reuters report.
Foreign investors fled the country when oil prices dropped three years ago. They have started to return, owing to improved transparency on exchange rates, and the CBN is trying to attract more investment.
The Senate had last September agreed to investigate whether MTN unlawfully repatriated $13.92bn between 2006 and 2016, because it did not obtain certificates declaring it had invested foreign currency within the deadline.
MTN has denied any wrong doing, saying that it did not break Nigeria’s currency-transfer rules.