CBN Threatens To Prosecute Forex Policy Violators

Banks have warned that anybody who does not comply with the new foreign exchange policy may face criminal prosecution by the Nigerian Central Bank.

Defaulters of the new FX foreign exchange policy may face fines such as being prevented from accessing FX from the official FX market, limits on their bank accounts as defined by the CBN, and criminal prosecution, according to the banks’ emails to their clients.

“In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s policy to improve access to foreign exchange for legitimate transactions, we are committed to providing you with foreign exchange for your personal and business travel, as well as payment for overseas education, medical, and other eligible invisible transactions,” the banks said in a syndicated email to customers.

“As a valued customer, you have a role to play in ensuring the policy’s success and integrity. When applying for FX for personal or business travel, please keep the following rules in mind so that we can better serve you.

“Foreign exchange shall only be sold for legitimate travel purposes. Always travel with a clear aim and a valid reason. A valid Nigerian passport and a valid visa to an international destination are required.

“Only properly issued travel documents will be accepted. Your ticket must be for a destination that is not in West Africa or Cameroon. You must supply an international return ticket with a departure date no later than 14 days after your PTA/BTA purchase.”

Customers could only apply for PTA and BTA once each quarter, according to the banks, and were liable for $4,000 and $5,000 per applicant every quarter, respectively.

“Customers are required to return purchased PTA/BTA to their bank within two (2) weeks from the date of purchase if not used for the intended purpose or if the scheduled trip is canceled for any reason,” the banks stated.

“Do not submit an application on behalf of another person. Only Nigerians aged 18 and up with a valid Bank Verification Number would be able to purchase foreign exchange directly. False applications and the use of forged documents to get a PTA or BTA are absolutely forbidden and are a financial crime punishable under Nigerian law.

“Defaulters of this FX policy may face sanctions such as future access to FX from the official FX market being barred, restrictions on their bank account(s) for such periods as may be determined by CBN, and possible criminal prosecution.”

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