Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Forex sanction: CBN to reconsider decision on MTN, banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said it is still engaging affected banks and MTN Nigeria over the recent sanctions placed on them for their role in the illegal repatriation of forex, insisting the decision was made in the public interest.

In response to the recent regulatory actions, CBN said the Banks and MTN are engaging the CBN and have provided additional information which is currently being reviewed with a view to arriving at an equitable resolution.

Recall that the CBN had on August 29, ordered MTN to refund $8.1 billion which it claimed the company repatriated using irregular certificates of capital importation. CBN had ordered four commercial banks, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Citibank, to pay a fine of N5.87 billion, though all parties have denied the allegations, the bank had since deducted the fines from their accounts.

A recent statement from the Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, explained that the recent sanctions arose due to irregularities with respect to repatriation of funds made on behalf of MTN Nigeria Limited and were not in any way designed to restrict access to investor returns.

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said that it will continue to welcome foreign investors and put in place initiatives for conductive business environment.

“We wish to restate that the CBN will continue to welcome foreign investments and investors. Indeed, some of our recent innovations and reforms of the Foreign Exchange regime such as the introduction of the NAFEX window, are designed to simplify foreign exchange regulations.

“Furthermore, the delegation of the issuance of Certificates of Capital Importation, CCIs, to commercial and merchant banks some years ago was done to instil confidence in the investor community and encourage the flow of foreign direct and portfolio investments into the Nigerian economy.

“The CBN welcomes all legitimate investors to take advantage of the enormous investment opportunities in Nigeria.”

The apex bank assured investors that there will be no retroactive application of foreign exchange rules and regulations. “We assure all investors that the integrity of the CCI regime remains sacrosanct,” the bank said.

 

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