CBN set to block accounts of smuggling companies, individuals

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has vowed that it will not only block accounts of companies and individuals found guilty of smuggling and any form of economic sabotage, but also stop them from operating account in any Nigerian bank.

At a roundtable session on “Developing a Roadmap for Greater Growth and Job Creation in Nigeria,” held in Lagos on Saturday, CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said smugglers and dumpers are major sabotages of economic policies in Nigeria.

According to him, Nigeria is good at making good policies but smugglers and indeed economic saboteurs are the ones frustrating these efforts.

He said if the agencies responsible for stopping these smugglers are not able to stop them, the CBN as the regulator of the banking system will demand their details and if they are found guilty, not only will their accounts be blocked, the accounts of the director and top management of companies involved will also be blocked and they will not transact any banking business with any company in Nigeria.

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At a roundtable session, the CBN governor said the bank has recently been caught in a syndrome which he termed ‘the dilemma of monetary policy in Nigeria’.

“Typically, for a nation to be seen to prosperous, any citizen of that country will expect the following macroeconomic indices to prevail: low-interest rate regime, a stable exchange rate regime and robust reserve position, a low inflationary environment, and lastly, an environment of full employment. In fact, I love these and would have less stress in monetary policy if all these are possible. But is it?”

He said people need to keep in mind that Nigeria’s high-interest regime reflects not only the cost of capital but also the cost of doing business in the country. A typical branch of Nigerian bank provides its own security with sometimes permanent police presence, its own electricity supply with several generators, diesel tanks and inverters and its own broadband internet services, Emefiele said, stressing that all these add to cost.

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