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Nigeria Central Bank freezes 38 firms’ accounts over forex breaches

Nigeria Central Bank freezes 38 firms' accounts over forex breaches

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all banks to initiate a post-no-debit (PND) on the bank accounts of 38 companies over alleged forex infractions among other violations. The affected bank accounts are mainly for bureau de change, betting and logistics companies, The Cable reports

According to CBN, the direction comes after the companies allegedly moved forex abroad unlawfully causing economic sabotage. According to the bank, the forex is a proceed of the black market a situation that impacted the exchange rate. 

CBN remains the biggest player in Nigeria’s forex trading. The institution also regulates all forex trading in the country. 

According to the directive signed by CBN Director of Banking Supervision Bello Hassan:

“You are hereby required to place the under listed accounts on post-no-debit with immediate effect and revert with the account names, numbers, currencies, and balances of all accounts placed on PND.”

As per the directive, CNB ordered banks to submit names, addresses, and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) of all the exporters who have failed to repatriate their export proceeds. 

The development might lead to strict regulation on forex trading in Nigeria, a sector that has been on the rise. Nigeria ranks as one of the major hubs for forex trading in Africa. 

International companies affected

A Post-No-Debit (PND) is a direction where banks do not allow any withdrawals or transfers from the bank account of account owners. Basically, the direction blocks the account from outflows. In most cases, the direction gives room for investigations.

Some of the affected companies have global operations. They include D Scanners Bureau De Change Limited, Premier Lotto Limited, and UK-based JNFX International Limited. 

Generally, forex trading has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to other markets like stocks, currency traders have maintained relatively stable levels of equities. 

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