CBN Issues Strong Warning to Forex Defaulters as it Clears Backlogs in 14 Banks, Others

CBN Issues Strong Warning to Forex Defaulters as it Clears Backlogs in 14 Banks, Others

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it is now taking action against forex defaulters in the country
  • It said the decision was necessary after an investigation conducted revealed non-compliance in the market
  • It also said that some relevant authorities will be working with the CBN in enforcing the sanctions journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning to forex defaulters in the country.

CBN Issues Strong Warning to FX Defaulters as It Clears Backlogs in Banks, Aviation, Others
The CBN said FX defaulters will now be prosecuted. Photo Credit: Anderson Ross Photography Inc
Source: Getty Images

In a signed statement, Sidi Ali, the CBN acting director of Communication, said those found wanting of the act will now be prosecuted.

Investigation reveals non-compliance

According to Ali, in a Punch report, the apex bank commissioned an independent forensic review by a reputable firm to look into issues relating to the forex exchange in the country.

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She said the result was grave infractions, gross abuse, and significant non-compliance with market regulations.

She added that sanctions will now be enforced in partnership with relevant agencies.

The statement read in part:

“The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its bid to clear the backlog of outstanding foreign exchange liabilities, has paid approximately $2 billion across various sectors, including manufacturing, aviation, and petroleum.
“The Bank has also cleared up the entire liability of 14 banks and started settlements with foreign airlines.
“Nevertheless, the CBN will continue to settle the legitimate foreign exchange backlog as it has consistently been doing in the last three months.” earlier reported that the CBN disbursed $61.64 million to foreign airlines through various banks in January.

This brings the total backlog of forex cleared in the last three months to $2 billion.

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Speaking on the development, Samuel Oyekanmi, a macroeconomic analyst said the action restores some level of confidence in the Nigerian FX system for foreign investors, especially in the aviation industry.

He added,

"It also sends a signal of FX liquidity in the economy, hence reducing the pressure on the exchange rate both at the official and parallel FX market."

Afreximbank loan lifts Nigeria's external reserve also reported that foreign exchange reserves increased to $33.042 billion as of January 3, 2024, according to data from the CBN.

This was up from $32.912 billion on Friday, the final trading day of 2023.

According to reports, this coincided with the reception of the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) loan announcement, which has helped boost reserves.

Recall Punch reported that the federal government received a $2.25 billion foreign exchange support facility from the Afreximbank.


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Zainab Iwayemi (Business Editor) Zainab Iwayemi is a business journalist with over 5 years experience reporting activities in the stock market, tech, insurance, banking, and oil and gas sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Science ( degree in Sociology from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. Before, she worked as a financial analyst at Nairametrics where she was rewarded for outstanding performance. She can be reached via