The Central Bank of Nigeria is seeking powers that would enable it to seize foreign currency, restrict repatriation and criminalise possession of foreign currency for more than 30 days without depositing it in the bank.
Nairametrics reports that the apex bank is proposing a string of new amendments to the Foreign Exchange, Monitoring and Miscellaneous Exchange Act (FEMM), an act signed to law in 2014, which liberalized the foreign exchange market in Nigeria allowing for foreign investors to import money into the country and repatriate same freely.
The act is currently in operation but according to the report by the financial blog, the CBN is of the view that in the current economic malaise the act is in imperfect and seeks to amend a large portion of it.
The report says the CBN’s position was made known through a “working paper” shared to members of the CIBN, which can also be found on the website of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.
Some of the amendments the ‘working paper’ contains include, CBN wants an amendment that allows it to have the powers to “prevent monopoly and hoarding and a time limit for deposit of foreign currency in the bank”, the apex bank is recommending that it should be granted powers to restrict or prohibit the exportation of foreign currency when and where necessary to “protect the economy.” It also wants powers to “approve and where necessary restrict or prohibit repatriation of foreign currency to save the Nigerian economy”.