By Merit Ibe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it was monitoring activities of exporters in the Importer and Exporter (I&E) window with regard to their export proceeds repatriation and would take punitive action against those breaching conditionsof the foreign exchange (FX).
Director, Monetary Policy in CBN, Dr. Hassan Mahmud, who made this known in an interview on a live television programme, cautioned exporters who divert FX collected instead of repatriating immediately. “If you take FX and your export proceeds are not quickly repatriated through your account, we have ways of dealing with you and putting some cautions in the way you operate your account.”
Mahmud explained that the punitive action became imperative for Nigerian exporters who were breaching the conditions by delaying repatriation of inflows of their export proceeds into the country.
To back up its stringent monitoring compliance in FX regulations, the apex bank disclosed that its surveillance monitoring of Nigerian exporters in the country’s Importer and Exporter (I&E) window on export proceeds repatriation, has fetched the bank about $3 billion so far.
“That alone is also helping a lot of those funds coming into the CBN window. I can tell you that between when the programme started and now, we have raked in close to $3 billion through that window, though we are paying a rebate and that is the price to be paid. At least, we are seeing the exhibits of those transactions in that stage.”
Mahmud cautioned critics of the apex bank’s flexible exchange rate regime, defending that the financial institution regulator is doing its best to boost inflows of FX this period only that headwinds in global economy, such as the global inflation rate, Russia-Ukraine war, high crude oil prices, over dependence in importation of “CBN is also looking for dollars just like the general public is looking for dollars too because we want to use that dollar to equip our war chest to be able to intervene in the market to make prices of FX comes down.
“Don’t forget that we are using flexible exchange rate regime so that we can come into that space in the event that we have seen an arbitrary movement in the prices just to moderate, but not to be the major player in that space. So, if those inflows that are expected to come to the CBN are robust enough, it will spread to the critical sectors of the economy.”
On what the CBN needs to do to boost FX, the Director stated that there was need to strongly work on the supply side so that inflows will come.
“You can see what is happening in the global economy; oil prices are going down, fundamentally production too is also going down, so the proceeds from there are also affecting that.”