CBN, banks to blacklist erring exporters for non-repatriation of proceeds
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bankers Committee have resolved to sanction erring exporters by blacklisting them for non-repatriation of proceeds.
The CBN had in 2015 directed exporters to repatriate their dollar earnings within 180 days, or be barred from all segments of the foreign exchange market.
“The issue we have had in the past was failure of some exporters to repatriate the FX generated and the CBN has agreed with the Bankers Committee to sanction defaulting exporters”, Tomi Somefun, managing director/CEO,Unity Bank Plc, said while addressing the media after the Bankers Committee meeting on Thursday in Lagos.
Explaining further, Isaac Okorafor, CBN acting director, corporate communications, said “exporters who refuse or fail to repatriate proceeds, according to the regulation, part of the sanction will be blacklisting them, such that no bank would do business with them in this country”.
The Bankers Committee agreed that the disbursement of the N26 billion fund, which has been provided as equity contribution for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector, will commence by the end of this quarter.
“The framework for this is being developed. At the Bankers Committee, we confirmed that this is being finalised and disbursement should start by the end of this quarter”, Somefun said.
To further support this, the CBN has created a special export intervention scheme, to support export which would in turn generate additional foreign exchange. “This is going to be closely monitored and we expect that a lot of SMEs will benefit from this scheme”, she added.
The committee noted the emergence of the country out of recession, describing it as an important milestone. Ahmed Abdullahi, director, banking supervisions department, CBN, said the committee recognised that growth is still fragile at 0.5 percent but is a development compared to negative 2.5 percent witnessed in the middle of 2016.
“Importantly, we recognise that there is need for more work, in order to make the growth more robust and deeper. A number of programmes have been discussed, which will help in deepening growth in the economy.
“We also recognise that there is stability in the forex market, vibrancy in capital market, moderation in inflation rates. All these are signs that with more hard work, GDP growth is going to be deeper”, Abdullahi said.
Others who addressed the media include, Kayode Akinkugbe, managing director/CEO, FBN Merchant Bank Limited, and Emeka Emuwa, group managing director/CEI, Union Bank plc.
They noted that there has been greater stability in the foreign exchange market. “The Bankers Committee must commend the CBN in terms of its efforts and the success we have seen over the past few months, in terms of improvement in stability and increased liquidity in forex, which has raised the level of confidence from all the stakeholders”, Akinkugbe said.
“The CBN has been steadfast in its approach. I think we are seeing indication of that perseverance and a number of the policies associated to enable us improve our confidence in the forex market.
“There is a lot more harmonisation within the various rates. Notwithstanding the successes, the CBN continues to look for ways to further improve and engender confidence in the foreign exchange market”, he further said.
The committee reminded the people that the collateral registry process has started. They said it is an opportunity for small businesses to put themselves in a better position to be able to access funding from the banks and for the banks to make it easy to facilitate the process of lending to customers. “As we are coming out of recession, there are processes in place to facilitate lending to small businesses which in turn contribute to employment, as we go forward”, Emuwa said.
Big Read |