CBN ‘reviewing’ sanctions placed on MTN, four banks



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it is reviewing the recent sanctions placed on MTN and four commercial banks.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the apex bank said the parties involved have submitted fresh documents in response to the sanctions.

CBN had ordered MTN to refund $8.1 billionwhich it claimed the company repatriated using irregular certificates of capital importation.

It had also ordered four banks, Diamond Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Citibank, to pay a fine of N5.87 billion.

“The recent sanctions on the banks arose due to irregularities with respect to repatriations made on behalf of MTN Nigeria Limited and were not in any way designed to restrict access to investor returns,” the statement signed by Isaac Okorafor (pictured), CBN’s spokesman, read.

“In response to the recent regulatory actions, the Banks and MTN are engaging the CBN and have provided additional information which is currently being reviewed with a view to arriving at an equitable solution.”

The apex bank assured foreign investors that there will be no retroactive application of foreign exchange rules and regulations.

“We assure all investors that the integrity of the CCI regime remains sacrosanct,” the bank said.

“We wish to restate that the CBN will continue to welcome foreign investments and investors. Indeed, some of our recent innovations and reforms of the Foreign Exchange regime such as the introduction of the NAFEX window, are designed to simplify foreign exchange regulations.

“Furthermore, the delegation of the issuance of Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) to commercial and merchant banks some years ago was done to instil confidence in the investor community and encourage the flow of foreign direct and portfolio investments into the Nigerian economy.

“The CBN welcomes all legitimate investors to take advantage of the enormous investment opportunities in Nigeria.”

Although all parties have denied the allegations, the bank has deducted the finesfrom their accounts.


TheCable