By Babajide Komolafe
LAGOS—Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has commenced the automation of foreign exchange documentation, with a three weeks pilot run.
The pilot scheme, which commenced last Friday, involves seven banks namely First Bank, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Diamond Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.The automation of foreign exchange documentation means that application for foreign exchange will be initiated electronically.
The apex bank announced this development in a circular signed by Director, Trade and Exchange, Mr. W.D. Gotring. The circular was titled, “Automation of forex forms on the trade monitoring system (single window system for trade).”
It stated, “This is to inform all authorized dealers, destination inspection service providers, Nigeria Customs Service and the general public that the pilot run of the Automation of Forex Forms on the Trade Monitoring System (Single Window System for Trade) is scheduled to run from November 22 to December 5, 2012, with the under listed banks: Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, Unity Bank, Wema Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, and First Bank of Nigeria.
“Effective from the commencement of the pilot run on November 22, 2012, all Form ‘M’ applications must be initiated electronically on the single window system, while non-pilot banks are to continue to process paper Forms ‘M’ until December 6, 2012 when the system will go live for all banks.
Banks’ customers are required to obtain a valid Tax Identification Number, TIN, from the Federal lnland Revenue Service (FIRS). The TIN is a prerequisite for customers to access the Single Window System for Form ‘M’ application.
Effective from November 22, 2012, the use of a valid TIN on Form ‘M’ application is compulsory. Non-pilot banks are required to indicate the customer’s TIN on any paper Form ‘M’ completed between November 22 and December 5, 2012. For the avoidance of doubt, any paper Form ‘M’ processed without a valid TIN written on the face of the form will be rejected.”