Wednesday, August 24, 2016 12:32 am
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday suspended nine banks from all foreign exchange transactions for failure to remit over $2 billion in various NNPC/NLNG accounts in their vaults to the Treasury Single Account as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.
The nine banks, made up of three tier-one lenders and another six tier-two deposit money banks were barred for hiding some $2.12 billion belonging to the nation’s oil corporation, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and failed to remit the funds into the Treasury Single Account.
Channels Television reported a top Central Bank source as confirming that President Muhammadu Buhari had been briefed on the matter and the sanctions to be imposed on the defaulting banks.
CBN said all the banks remain barred from foreign exchange operations until they fully remit the NNPC funds into government coffers via the Treasury Single Account, the apex bank said.
The Treasury Single Account of the government was established in August 2015, with the government saying it would help check leakages in the system.
CBN sources listed the banks as United Bank for Africa (UBA) $530m; First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) $469m; Diamond Bank Plc. ($287m); Sterling Bank Plc. ($269m); Sky Bank Plc. ($221m); Fidelity Bank ($209m); Keystone Bank ($139); First City Monument Bank (FCMB) $125m; and Heritage Bank ($85m).
But UBA, one of Nigeria’s top tier banks listed among the defaulting institutions said it has remitted into all dollar deposits belonging to the NNPC/NLNG to the TSA as directed by the CBN.
The bank in a statement Tuesday said, “Our attention has been drawn to report of the ban of UBA from the foreign exchange market by the CBN over the non-remittance of NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits.
“We wish to state very categorically that UBA has completely remitted all NNPC/NLNG dollar deposits.
“We thank all our numerous customers, business partners and other stakeholders who have reached out to us on account of this report,” Mr. Charles Aigbe, Head, Corporate Communications, said in a statement.