CBN ​lifts forex ban on 8 banks after agreement to refund billions of dollars

Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday re-instated the eight banks banned last week from operating in the country’s foreign exchange market.

The CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Tokunbo Martins, announced the reinstatement of the banks, after a meeting between chief executive officers of the affected banks and the Committee of Governors of the CBN under the auspices of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Mrs. Martins said the decision was taken after the CEOs presented an acceptable plan to repay all the outstanding dollars in respect of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) deposits in their possession to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

“We have had engagements with the body of CEOs over a number of banks suspended from participation in foreign exchange market. I’m happy to say the ban has been lifted on the banks. As a result, all those banks have been reinstated into foreign exchange market,” Mrs. Martins said

Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, who spoke on behalf of the affected banks’ CEOs, said the banks pledged to uphold the re-payment plan.

Last week,the CBN suspended nine commercial banks from further dealing in foreign exchange transactions in the country over infractions on its directives on the TSA remittances.

The banks were found guilty of refusing to remit to the TSA over $2.12 billion revenue realised from the operations of the NNPC.

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) was later re-admitted to the market after it refunded over $530 million unremitted NNPC/NLNG FOREX deposits in its possession.

Those unbanned on Wednesday are First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) ($469 million); Diamond Bank Plc ($287 million); Sterling Bank Plc ($269 million); Skye Bank Plc ($221 million); Fidelity Bank ($209 million); Keystone Bank ($139 million); First City Monument Bank {FCMB} ($125 million) and Heritage Bank ($85 million).

The continued banning of the eight banks was said to have been responsible for the continued dip in value of the Naira against the dollar and other international currencies last week.

PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that the nine commercial banks also failed to remit crude oil sales revenues from oil blocks operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and its joint venture (JV) partners.

The NPDC is the upstream oil industry subsidiary of the NNPC.

Some of the oil blocks included oil mining leases (OMLs) previously vacated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, included eight whose ownership were irregularly approved by the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

They included OMLs 4, 38 and 41 allocated to Atlantic Energy and Septa Energy; OML 42 to Neconde Energy and Kulcyzk Oil; OML 40 to Elcrest E&P Nigeria Limited and Band Oil and Gas; OML 34 to Niger Delta Western and Petrolin; OML 30 to Shoreline and Heritage Oil, and OML 26 to First Hydrocarbon Nigeria and Afren.

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  • Akin A. J


    Nothing kills a country faster than the ignorance the APC fans across the land.
    The whole world agrees that the APC party has proved worse than the clueless
    Jonathan government of the alternative PDP party it replaced. After the APC’s
    one year in office, the coalition of Muslims disguised as a political party has
    unraveled as a gang of dunces with no thought-process on policy matters.

    • Nemesis

      Please, what is the relevance of your comment to this particular news. Some banks refuses to remit money which in the first place did not belong to them. Now kindly let me give you an analogy. Supposing you kept your deposit with these banks and you went to withdraw your money and they informed you that they have spent it, what will you do. Please, the corruption and impunity in this country is too much, if somebody don’t stop it, we will never develop. As for apc ,let us give them a benefit of doubt until 4years, then we will give our verdict with our votes afterall we gave PDP 16years.

      • Truth Justice Equity

        Bros listen to me ,your analysis is devoid of economic management understanding.I don’t blame you because you can’t give what you don’t have. Obama gave AIG a bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars to save the company from going under because it is a very big contributor to American economic growth and labour market.same with GM etc.can you imaging the implications of first bank,Uba,access bank ,diamond ,fidelity bank etc going under because of myopic implementation of single treasury account..unto the sai barbarians, everything is about corruption when in truth and fact they are the most corrupt .federal government money is not like personal money ,the management and banking of federal government money is different from that of private individuals and organizations. This is what reasonable Nigerians have been complaining about the mental dwarfs and almajiri imbeciles being paraded by buhari and APC as their change team.they have bankrupted Nigeria with their malicious approach to governance. This is the worst calamity that can befall any nation as far as leadership is concerned. This government have no plan,no future and no hope for Nigeria. It is a government of almajiri somersault and dance of myopic imbeciles.

        • Nemesis

          Thank you for your enlightenment, if I may call it that. Please, can you tell me how this banks you have mentioned have been helping the Nigeria economy like the one OBAMA gave out bailout to. This should include businesses they have been lending money to, at what interest rate, how Jonathan election money was distributed without any banks notifying the govt despite the money laundering act in operation, how much of AMCON money that has been paid back. I also forgot how BUHARI was responsible for SKYE bank problem, how shareholders money was lost in keystone and mainstreet banks. I will advise you to give any advise that can move this country forward rather than seeing things from the prism of ethnicity, religious or party angles. As for me, I will still give them a benefit of doubt for 4 years and they will hear from me through my votes. Finally, as for you, I will advise that you should not be quick to result to insulting languages, it diminishes the quality and logic of your argument.

          • Truth Justice Equity

            You may out of hatred for Jonathan be blind to the economic advantages and contributions of Nigerian banks to Nigerian economy. I pity you for your ignorance, please ask dangote,or otedola or any serious business man or woman in Nigerian or any serious farmer in Nigeria about the contributions of Nigerian banks to their businesses. About election funds and its distribution, I say shame on you for still suffering from Jonathan phobia 16 months into your almajiri victory dance that have bankrupted Nigeria. Have you ever contemplated how APC and buhari funded their own elections ?,did you remember that buhari told Nigerians that the 28 million he used to purchase his nomination form for APC primaries was loaned to him by his bank,what did you call that,positive or negative contributions.The truth is that buharis thoughtless and myopic leadership is a very big negative challenge to Nigerian nation.

          • kinsly

            And the alternative is?

          • Nemesis

            Please my brother, how BUHARI funded his election is not my problem for now because he has not being accused of using public fund which is meant for arm purchase or any other public work.Now I want you to step away from your hatred for BUHARI and please consider the following, how come Nigeria cannot refine his own oil during Jonathan years and we are paying as much as one trillion Naira in subsidy, do you know presently Nigerian is using 40% of his foreign exchange earning to import PETROL only, do you know that of all OPEC countries, none of them is in the league of developed countries, do you know how much Nigeria is spending on importing expired rice until govt cried out that there is no foreign exchange to continue. As for those statistics being churned out by NBS now, I will take them with caution because Nigeria has always being in recession, if you are in doubt, ask people who graduated for the past 10years whether they are employed or was BUHARI in govt then. As for your banks, I am still telling you that they are rogues but time and space will not permit me to mention some of their infarctions. Nigeria case is like that of an engineer sacked from chevron and who took a physics teaching job in a secondary school, no matter how good he is in managing money, he is in for a very rough ride.

          • kinsly

            Gbam! I concur.

    • Jika

      Yeah the ‘coalition of Muslims’ made up of ‘Imams’ Osinbajo,Odigie Oyegun,Rotimi Ameachi,Kayode Fayemi,Godwin Emefiele(‘Governor of Islamic Central Bank of Nigeria’),Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun,,and a host of other ‘Imams’.You are right to disagree with the policies of the Government.To bring in a religious angle to it,smacks of bigotry to say the least.

      • Mark. U. Azu


        I agree with @Akin A.J. The fact is that President Buhari is just entertaining Nigerians with ban today,
        un-ban tomorrow; catch thief today, leave thief tomorrow. That one is ignorance, not policy. Unless
        you can’t see the big picture, President Buhari is just wasting away the time of Nigerians for nothing.

        • Jika

          I don’t have a problem with any one taking on the Government on socio-economic issues.My point of disagreement is when Akin made it a religious issue.May be you need to read my first comment again.

  • Truth Justice Equity

    I am sure that by now ,yorubas should be cursing awolowo in his grave for bewitching them with a backstabbing treacherous spirit that made them to vote for a calamity as President of Nigeria.
    Government of almajiri somersaults, inconsistent, incompetent, blind leadership.
    It is becoming increasingly very clear even to the blind and the most ardent saibaberians that buhari have no single idea about governance, buhari emergence have disjointed Nigeria in every material aspect. To me all the talks about buharis effective management and blocking of loopholes are hogwash and highly crafted lies aimed at distracting Nigerians from marking buhari bumper to bumper, while the government engages in the worst form of corrupt businesses as usual.
    Lies ,falsehoods and propaganda can’t endure for a long time, only truth is consistently constant and permanent.The highly crafted lies,propaganda and media blitz holding this bankrupt government are giving ways with the speed of light. The results from all sectors of Nigeria after a whole year of buharis so called effective management and anti corruption , points to a heavy decline in all hitherto positive indexes , a downwards spiraling of our economic indexes,and the growth of the most formidable corruption ever seen in Nigeria.
    Not minding the highly crafted lies and propaganda, buhari have shown himself to be naive,incompetent, ignorant, myopic, uninformed, weak,tired,demented,lacking in doing justice and completely overwhelmed in matters of leadership .To make matters worst,buhari out of malice,hate bigotry,nepotism ,have surrounded himself with the worst assemblage of almajiri imbeciles, mental dwarfs and hollow minded free education products and silent crooks to run the affairs of Nigeria. The best thing for buhari to do now after bankrupting Nigeria, is for him to respect himself and his old age and resign with a national apology .if buhari has any atom of integrity left in him,he must tender his resignation letter forthwith with a deserving apology and not allow Nigeria any further pain,sorrow, anguish and death arising from his bankrupt ,calamitous ineptitude government.
    May God punish all those who conspired to impose this suffering on Nigeria under the guise and propaganda of ‘change’.May God never allow this kind of leadership disaster to ever come to Nigeria again.

  • Willy


    What exactly
    is the policy priority of this Buhari government for God’s sake? Buhari has
    reduced governance to a police station; with Muhamadu Buhari as the Constable,
    to catch thieves and no more. In effect, all else in the country goes to rot, as
    the Naira falls to 420 to a dollar today; and as hundreds of Nigerian youths in
    foreign schools are expelled for inability to pay tuition at 400 to 500 a
    dollar. At home in Nigeria, prices run past income and domestic debts
    skyrocket. Nigeria is now a country full of honest people now made suddenly
    bankrupt by double digit inflation and by hiked prices.

    • S.S Dodo



  • Arabakpura

    This is music while you suffer! Can’t CBN do their job and on time?

  • tunde

    It’s simple,just let them know there is new. sheriff in town and no more business as usual.They have to sit up.

  • EOkeh

    good development.

  • GbemigaO

    This is sad that we have people managing the economy and the monetary policy that ha no clue and are so incompetent that I get irritated. Every move you make has its risks and you have to be able to analyse and balance risks . Is it that CBN is not aware of the impact the decision to ban the banks will have on forex rates in the first instance. So you ban and the rates went crazy. Now you have unbanned all , who is going to bring the rates down or when is it going to go down? Are we jingle in this country ? Is there something pursuing us that we just want to destroy this country ? Na wa o!