By Dipo Olowookere
The nine commercial banks barred from trading in the foreign exchange market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been re-admitted into the market.
The CBN had placed a ban on nine banks operating in Nigeria last week for failing to remit about$ 2.3 billion funds of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the federal government.
But less than 24 hours later, one of the affected banks, UBA Plc, was reinstated after it sorted out its issue with the apex bank.
Announcing the lifting of the embargo on Wednesday in Abuja, CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mrs Tokunbo Martins, explained that the apex bank readmitted the banks into the forex market after they presented repayments plans.
The CBN explained further that it was not out to victimise any bank, but had to take the earlier step because it was necessary.
The nine suspended bank and the amount owed are:
United Bank for Africa (UBA) -$530m;
Diamond Bank Plc-$287m;
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN)- $469m;
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) -$125m;
Sterling Bank Plc-$269m;
Skye Bank Plc -$221m;
Fidelity Bank -$209m;
Heritage Bank-$85m; and
Keystone Bank- $139.