The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks in the country to stop Nigerian exporters who have not repatriated their export proceeds effective from January 31, 2021.
The move is to help cut down access to foreign exchange through the black market as a defense for the Naira.
The apex bank issued this directive in a circular sent to banks nationwide.
The apex bank has a standing policy that instructs exporters to repatriate export proceeds within 90 days for oil and gas and 180 days for non-oil exports.
Affected exporters are expected to comply with this directive before the specified date. Some banks have already issued a statement directing exporters to comply with the directive.
In August 2020, CBN had instructed banks to submit the names, addresses and bank verification numbers (BVN) of exporters that have defaulted in repatriating their export proceeds, for further action.
The global decline of crude oil prices coupled with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the scarcity of foreign exchange in Nigeria.
This resulted in a significant difference between the official exchange rate and the parallel market rate.
It added that the differential of about 25 percent has induced exporters to divert forex earnings to unofficial channels.