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Cbn Distances Self From Proposed Forex Act Amendment

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BEVERLY HILLS, November 22, (THEWILL) – The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has stated that it has nothing to do with the proposed legislation that will bar citizens from holding foreign currencies for more than 30 days, even as it denied planning to confiscate funds in domiciliary accounts of individuals.

The Nigerian Law Reform Commission, NLRC, was reported to have proposed an amendment to the Foreign-Exchange Act to provide for the imprisonment of anyone who holds foreign currencies, particularly the United States dollar, for more than 30 days.

Draft of the proposed changes published on the NLRC website explained that “the amendments are necessary for effective monitoring and control, and to ensure probity in foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria”. The move is also said to be intended to help control capital flows and prevent foreign exchange from being taken out of the country.

But the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Monday, denied knowledge of the proposed clause recommending a jail term of two years for any holder of foreign exchange in cash or a fine of 20 per cent of the amount.

He further stated that the apex bank, in line with its mandate, was committed to safeguarding the international value of the country's legal tender.

“To the best of my knowledge, the Central Bank of Nigeria has not proposed any bill seeking to arrest and jail persons holding foreign exchange for more than 30 days,” Okorafor said in a statement.