As part of efforts to halt the seeming dollarisation of the Nigerian economy and also combat money laundering, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has concluded plans to push for an executive bill that will lead to the amendment of the Foreign Exchange Miscellaneous Act, 1995.
According to Thisday reports, information from a high ranking central bank official, is one of the reforms for the foreign exchange market and is aimed at strengthening measures against the dollarisation of the domestic economy.
Specifically, the central bank aims to push for the amendment of Section 12(1) and 12(2) of the Act, which provide for the declaration of foreign currency at ports of entry or exit in the country.
While Section 12(1) of the Act stipulates that “no person shall be required to declare at the port of entry into Nigeria any foreign currency unless its value is in excess of US$5,000 or its equivalent”, Section 12(2) states that “foreign currency in excess of US $5,000 or its equivalent, whether being imported into or exported out of Nigeria, shall be declared on the prescribed form for reasons of statistics only”.
The central bank official explained that this is one of the key reforms in the foreign exchange market that the central bank would be pushing for through the amendment of the Act.
“As it stands, the Act permits persons to carry out any amount, even $1 million or $10 million in cash, insofar as it is declared in the Customs form. But this is not allowed anywhere in the world as it is a perfect conduit for money laundering.
“People can’t be carrying huge amounts of foreign currencies in and out of the country through our airports. Nigeria is one of the few countries where such is done and we must discourage that.
“We have the inbound and outbound money transfer channels and we are encouraging everyone, including foreigners, to take advantage of that,” he said.