CBN suspends 9 banks from forex transactions

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, yesterday, suspended nine banks from further dealing in foreign exchange transactions, until they remit all outstanding Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, funds in their vaults into the Treasury Single Account, TSA.


The nine banks were barred for concealing $2.12 billion belonging to the NNPC, and failed to remit the funds into the TSA as directed by the Federal Government.


The action of the apex bank, however, is seen in some quarters as contradicting an earlier circular on the issue exempting NNPC from TSA.


The circular addressed to the Director, Banking and Payments System Department of the CBN, with FD/LP2015/C/ADC/20/1/ /DF as reference number, was dated September 14, 2015, and was signed by M. K. Dikwa for the Accountant-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Funds Department, Abuja.


The banks, which suspension would remain in force until they remit all the funds to the TSA, are UBA ($530m); FirstBank of Nigeria ($469m); Diamond Bank Plc ($287m); Sterling Bank Plc ($269m); Skye Bank Plc ($221m); Fidelity Bank ($209m); Keystone Bank ($139m); FCMB ($125m) and Heritage Bank ($85m).


The CBN officials said further disciplinary actions awaited the erring banks after remitting the funds in full to the government’s coffers.