Nigeria’s Bankers Committee on Thursday announced that henceforth, authorized foreign exchange (FX) dealers in the country would blacklist customers by placing post-no-debit (PND) on their accounts if they are caught using fraudulent means to procure FX.
This is just as the committee said they have collaborated with the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS) to create a portal where information on FX sales would be shared in real-time to help checkmate arbitrage.
Speaking to newsmen at the end of a meeting, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Guarantee Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said the banks are capable and eager to support the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) FX policy.
He stressed however that as a means of protecting themselves, the banks would sanction fraudulent customers who are duplicitous.
According to Agbaje, “The new FX policy with regards to invincibles, PTA and BTA, school fees and health is working very well. The banks have taken it upon ourselves along with the regulators to make sure this works.
“This is just the first phase and if you notice, most of the things you are doing today you are going into the branches to do most things, but we are also going to try and digitize this whole thing. The way the world is going, an app is being created by NIBBS where you would be able to apply online.
“Today, the NIBBS already has a portal where the banks share information and what we do is to make sure that the rules around being able to apply for PTA or BTA once a quarter by bringing in your ticket are enhanced. With this, we would be sharing your information on the portal.”
On possible penalties for people who may want to defraud the system, he said: “This is very important information because, if we find, as we have started to see, that people are trying to defraud the system, we would capture this on the portal.
“And the banks will report the individuals to the CBN. The likely punishment is that your account would be PND. And if you understand what that means, PND means you would not be able to do anything in the banking system.
“So, while we are committed, this is not for people who want to game the system, this is for people who have genuine needs. And so fraudulent transactions or fraudulent individuals will be reported to the CBN and the portal would help us do this.”
He said advanced countries mostly frown at holding large quantities of cash.
“We are also hoping that all the transactions would not just be cash. The world today is not completely friendly about arriving in countries with cash, so we are hoping people would be able to put this on their cards to use when they travel for medicals, so they are not lodging cash around and fill cash declaration forms when they get into countries.
“We have also examined the nature of things and we believe that most people who would qualify for medical, school fees or BTA and PTA would be people who have banks accounts anyway.
“We are committed to doing this and it is for people who have legitimate needs. We do not want fraudulent transactions taking place in this space and we would continue to make it quicker, faster cheaper and more efficient by digitizing things, putting them in cards and so on.”
The committee also announced progress being made in the ongoing rehabilitation of the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, saying it was on track to meet the 2022 completion target it had fixed earlier.
The committee also promised that local contractors would be given preference during work on the edifice.
In his contribution, the Managing Director, Citi Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Ireti Samuel-Ogbu said: “It is important for the public to know that there would be sanctions when people abuse the system. This is all about ensuring the FX is fairly allocated among legitimate users and we have digital means of being able to determine when people are using fraudulent documentation or wanting to game the system in a way that wasn’t intended.”
Also speaking, the Group Managing Director Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe said: “Banks have been criticized for not being able to handle PTA and BTA transactions and just to let people know that we would continue to exercise the due diligence required with respect to KYC and compliance.
“FX is a scarce resource, so if we find people coming up with tickets that have expired or tickets that are going to be canceled, or illegitimate passports or people buying more than they are supposed to buy, they will be reported to law enforcement agencies. People should comply with the rules as stipulated by the CBN.”
On the development and completion of the national theatre, he said: “Most of the contract would be awarded sometime in September and we expect that the entire project that is the national theatre and the various verticals should be completed by December 2022.”
Naira Gained Slightly at I&E Forex Window to N412.81/$US
Despite the Nigerian Naira trading at a record-low across the nation’s unregulated black market, the embattled currency opened slightly higher at N412.81 to a United States Dollar on Monday at the Investors and Exporters Forex Window, representing an increase of 0.08 percent when compared to the N412.88 it closed on Friday.
The improvement in Naira value was after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all depoisit money banks operating in the country to freeze bank accounts linked to Oniwinde Olusegun Adedotun, the founder of www.abokfx.com, a forex rate publishing platform.
Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, CBN had blamed black market and bureau de change operators for the constant plunge in Naira value against its global counterparts and insisted that forex rates remained the apex bank stipulated rates and not the unregulated rates imposed by speculators and hoarders and published to the public by Abokifx and other business platforms.
“There was a particular time I asked our colleagues to call the so-called owner of abokiFX, that we want to understand his model and how he came about advertising those rate, we find him as someone, a Nigerian who lives in England and conducts this nefarious activity on our economy.
“It is economic sabotage and we will pursue him, wherever he is, we will report him to international security agencies, we will track him, Mr Oniwinde, we will find you, because we cannot allow you to continue to conduct an illegal activity that kills our economy.” Emefiele said.
The governor further stated that the website was set up primarily manipulate and speculate forex rates. He said “they get naira loans, use to purchase dollars, take a position, change the rate over a given period, sell the dollars they purchased and make a profit, this is completely illegal, unacceptable and we will pursue them.”
On Friday, the last time Abokifx published unregulated forex rates, Naira was qouted at N570 to a United States Dollar while the British Pound and the Euro were quoted at N770 and N655, respectively.
U.S Dollar Jumps to Three Weeks High on Better Than Expected Retail Sales
The United States Dollar rose to a three-week high after data from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S retail sales rebounded in the month of August despite falling consumer confidence.
The US Dollar Index rose to 93.40 on Monday to extend Friday breakout above the 93.00 key resistance level.
U.S retail sales jumped to its highest in five months in the month of August to beat 0.8 percent decline predicted by experts. Retail sales grew by 0.7 percent in August to increase the odds of the US Federal Reserve announcing tapering during next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
“U.S. consumption is not slowing as quickly as it appeared a month ago despite the fading stimulus, and the Delta variant did not much affect the industries feeding into retail sales,” said Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York. “The economy continued to hum in August.”
Against the Japanese Yen, the U.S dollar strengthened to 109.48 from 109.91 attained on Friday on broad-based selloff during London trading session, while heavy selloff plunged British pound against the U.S dollar 1.36610 before reboundling slightly to 1.36946.
The Euro dropped from 1.17883 recorded on Friday to 1.16995 on Monday during London trading session.
Naira Exchange Rates Today, Friday, September 17, 2021
Naira continued its downward trend against other currencies on Friday as it plunged to N570 against the United States Dollar at the black market. The local currency traded at N770 and N655 to British Pound and Euro, respectively.
Persistent forex scarcity amid a series of in effective policies have made access to forex impossible for most of businesses that operates in largely import dependent African biggest economy.
Nigeria’s forex reserves, the means in which the nation, service its dollar consuming 200 million population has been on a decline in recent weeks despite crude oil trading at over a year high of $73 a barrel. Some of the factors that have crippled the ability of central bank to cushion the economy with enough forex is low crude oil production, partly due to production cap, weak local manufacturing sector that has made the nation a huge import dependent economy, the ongoing crisis between herders and farmers, rising costs even with falling inflation, etc.
At the bureau de change section, Naira exchanged at N565, N775 and N655 to a United States Dollar, British Pound and Euro common currency.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had stopped the sale of forex to the bureau de change operators to plug forex leakages and curb activities of criminal elements, the decision has worsen forex availability. See other forex rates below.
Naira Black Market Exchange Rates
Morning * Midday** Evening *** Final Rates
Bureau De Change Naira Rates
Central Bank of Nigeria’s Official Naira Rates
|9/16/2021||SOUTH AFRICAN RAND||28.3101||28.3446||28.3792|
N.B: These tables are updated three times a day.
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