By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
LAGOS â€” THE Central Bank (CBN) is to impose a 25 per cent fine on banks in the country that fail to repatriate export proceeds within the stipulated period of six months from the date of shipment.
According to the CBN circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/116 of July 17, 2009 to all authorised dealers, Nigerian Customs Service, oil and non oil exporters, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Cobalt International Services Limited and the general public titled; â€œAmendment of guidelines on repatriation of export proceeds for non-oil exportâ€ signed byÂ Batari Musa, an acting Director of Trade & Exchange Department, CBN said; â€œThis is to inform all Authorised Dealers and the General Public that the period for the repatriation of export proceeds of non-oil exports has now been reviewed.
â€œHenceforth, proceeds of all non-oil exports must be fully repatriated within 180 days from the date of shipment, while the repatriation of proceeds of oil exports remains within 90 days from the date of shipment.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, failure to repatriate the proceeds within the stipulated period shall render the bank liable to a financial fine of 25% of the Free on Board (FoB) value of the goods, as stipulated in the circular Ref: TED/AD/97/99 of December 7, 1999 as well as other appropriate sanctions provided for in the BOFI Act of 1991 as amended.
â€œAuthorised Dealers are enjoined to bring this notice to the attention of their customers and ensure compliance accordingly.â€
Naira falls 63 kobo to dollar
Meanwhile the naira depreciated against the dollar by 63 kobo at the Wednesday auction. The Central Bank sold $200 million at N147.35 to the U.S. dollar at its foreign exchange auction on Wednesday, but fell short of the $665.97 million demanded by banks.
The CBN had sold $211.35 million at 146.72 naira per dollar at the previous auction on Monday against the $538 million demanded. Bankers said the Central Bank has failed to meet surging dollar demand since the re-introduction of the wholesale auction last week, leading to the depreciation of the naira.
The naira also slipped at the interbank market due to the rise in demand, trading above 152 naira to the dollar on Thursday against 149.50 the previous session.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian economy has been facing financial haemorrhage as Nigerians and corporate bodies are moving funds massively out of the country after conversion from naira to dollar. Many exporters move funds out of the country through export of commodity without bringing back to the country the proceeds of their exports.
In the last quarter of 2008, a total of $13.894 billion went out of the country. While about $757 million went out in the week ending 9th September 2008, the amount of foreign exchange flowing out of the country rose to $1.359 billion for the week ending 19th September.
It however dropped to $452 million on the 3rd of October and moved astronomically to $3.290 billion on 17th October 2008.