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Foreign exchange malpractice: 728 firms blacklisted

by Business News Report

A total of 728 companies and individuals were blacklisted from procuring exchange because of their involvement in different forms of foreign exchange malpractices during the first half of 1987.
Investigations conducted by The Republic revealed that 336 companies, mostly those registered as private companies, 228 individuals Nigerians believed to be students and 164 foreigners were involved in the foreign exchanged malpractices.
According to our investigations, none of the companies quoted at the stock exchange was involved in the shaddy deals. It was revealed that most of the companies that were blacklisted by the Central Bank used forged forms ‘M’ to apply for foreign exchange. Most of the companies were also caught using Nigerians to front for them in foreign exchange deals especially in companies where Asians have shares.

The 228 individuals blacklisted were those who pose as student in Federal Government approved schools overseas when in actual fact they were not studying abroad. In some of the cases, Nigerians who have access to position of authority faked studentship while they trade with the proceeds of the foreign exchange they got from the Central Bank. Some were known to have connived with embassy officials to obtain the enabling documents to apply for scarce foreign exchange..
The most prevalent in the series of embargo were those on exporting firms that refused to repatriate home the proceeds of their foreign exchange earnings.
According to top CBN officials, most of these exporters, especially those that could finance their export directly without going through the banks simply open letters of credit with their banks overseas.
CBN officials also disclosed that this class of exporters are difficult to track down as only those with letters of credit with local banks could be traced.
Officials of CBN also disclosed that it is fairly difficult to determine the actual amount exporters earn from export as prices of commodities vary daily.
One startling discovery is the fact that some of these companies are fake. Some of the directors of the companies as they can afford so that when one is embargoed, the others continue operation. This, CBN officials said is making government policy in effective. Embargo does not deter them, they noted.
The 164 companies are mainly Asians, Indians and Lebanese whose export from capital repatriation. Financial sources expressed concern over how these group of people are allowed to toy with Nigeria’s economic future without hindrance.
Financial sources are of the view that powerful Nigerians are behind these acts of economic sabotage. According to banking sources, Nigerians, connive with these aliens to move financial from th e country into their private companies.

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