By omoh Gabriel
Indication emerged weekend that some Nigeria banks managing directors are in active connivance with money launderers, political expose persons and unscrupulous businessmen who now resort to depositing large some of foreign currencies in cash into their domiciliary account. They are said to buy large sums of dollars and other currencies and deposit same in cash and transfer same abroad. It was learnt that at the last bankers committee meeting the issue was raised by the CBN, warning that it will come heavily in sanction on banks involved. According to those who have knowledge of the matter, who do not want their names in print, they said the CBN at the meeting made it clear that those who deposit large cash of foreign exchange into their bank accounts can only take them out by cash withdrawal. Such deposit can not be transferred from the said account abroad.
The CBN it was gathered warned that the activities of some of the banks and their politically exposed persons are endangering the economy from which they benefit so much from. Those who were at the meeting said that the CBN only reminded banks managing directors at the meeting that their activities is harmful to the economy and should stop. Instead of some of the managing directors taking correction, they resorted to sponsoring stories that the CBN is about to stop the use of domestic domiciliary account in Nigerian banks. Some of those at the meeting expressed shock at the greed of some of the banks. It was learnt that as soon as the report came out local and foreign investor started calling the CBN for explanation. The apex bank it was gathered was highly embarrassed and started making frantic effort to calm foreign and local investors.
Businessnewsreport learnt that the CBN will soon name and shame the banks managing directors and their politically exposed persons involved in the act. Their reaction in sponsoring false report is the fear that they will not be able to carry huge cash across the border for their nefarious activities. It will be recalled that the sum of $8 million was found at the airport recent with no one coming forth to own the money.
The Central Bank in a swift reaction to the story said in a statement saying it has to formally clarified issues surrounding the operations of domiciliary accounts in Nigeria. Making the clarification in a chat with newsmen in Abuja, the Bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Issac Okorafor stated that “the Bank has not prohibited the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits by Deposit Money Banks.” He further explained that “Only electronic fund transfers into Domiciliary accounts can be transferred from such accounts while cash deposits into such accounts can only be withdrawn in cash also.” Okorafor therefore urged stakeholders and other interested parties to always endeavour to seek clarification on issues and avoid speculative tendencies which are detrimental to the financial system.”