The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to submit the names, addresses and bank verification numbers (BVN) of exporters that have defaulted in repatriating their exports proceeds, for further action.
In a statement signed on Tuesday by Ozoemena Nnaji, director of CBN trade and exchange department, the apex bank said the directive is to ensure prudent use of the country’s foreign exchange resources.
According to the statement, Godwin Emefiele, the central bank governor, issued the directive at the bi-monthly virtual meeting of the bankers’ committee.
This directive comes 24 hours after the CBN banned third parties from getting forex using Form M.
“The move by the CBN followed the adoption of the strategy to discourage over-invoicing, which some businesses have allegedly used to divert foreign exchange from the country, through the opening of “Forms M” for which payment is routed through a buying company, agent, or other third parties,” the statement read.
Nnaji also said the directive will eliminate incidences of over-invoicing, transfer pricing, double handling charges and avoidable costs that are ultimately passed to the average Nigerian consumer.
The CBN, together with the bankers’ committee, has previously threatened sanctions against exporters who divert foreign exchange from the export proceeds, instead of repatriating to support the naira and boost the economy.
The statement also quoted analysts as saying a number of punitive options are open to the CBN, “including, but not limited to, barring the exporters from the foreign exchange market and other banking services”.
The CBN has been deploying various forex management measures to conserve scarce foreign exchange after the COVID-19 pandemic and lowered oil prices affected Nigeria’s forex earnings.