FOREX: CBN Gives Dealers Marching Order
As part of its efforts to end the frustrations suffered by genuine FOREX customers, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to henceforth ensure that all applications for Basic/Personal Travel Allowance (BTA/PTA) are processed within 24 hours, while Medical and tuitions should be concluded within 48 hours of such applications.
The CBN further directed banks to open foreign exchange outlets in all leadership locations warning that any breach of this directive would be visited with severe sanctions.
In a circular issued over the weekend, the apex Bank further directed all banks and authorized dealers to put up electronic display boards in all their branches, showing the rates of all traded currencies.
The circular signed by the Director, Financial Markets Department, Dr. Alvan Ikoku further urged customers to insist on processing FX transactions based on the displayed rates.
Meanwhile, the CBN warned that it would sanction any authorized dealer that fails to comply with its directive by barring any erring bank or dealer from all future CBN foreign exchange interventions, among other sanctions.
Meanwhile a circular signed by the Minister of Finance has been dispatched to all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) requesting their Accounting Officers to prepare an inventory of all fixed assets held as at 31st December 2016, to facilitate physical verification by the Project Team.
The circular further requested all heads of MDAs “to ensure that any assets held by current and former staff are fully accounted for. In this regard, you may find it necessary to contact any former staff and /or political office holders to avail them the opportunity to return relevant assets in their possession.”
The circular emphasised that “all inventory records submitted will be cross-checked to capital releases and project account purchases to ensure completeness. Where assets have been sold or otherwise disposed of, they must be recorded with supporting authorization for sale and evidence of payment, where applicable.”
The Circular drew the attention of Heads of MDAs to Chapter 26 of the Financial Regulations, with regards to disposals of assets and warned that “any asset not accessible for physical inspection and not disposed of in accordance with financial requirements will be deemed to have been illegally withheld or converted. Please record such assets so as to enable the investigative agencies to be notified.”
The records of the assets disposed of should cover the last five years and all accounting officers of the MDAs were to submit their reports not later than three weeks from the date of receipt of the circular.
It could be recalled that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) delivered 40 vehicles to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources which it recovered from some retired Directors of the Ministry; and also the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced the recovery of 40 Sports Utility Vehicles from a retired Permanent Secretary who served in the Federal Ministry of Power.