Nigeria central bank ends banks’ suspension from FX market – Reuters

ABUJA Aug 31 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank ended the suspension of eight lenders banned from the interbank currency market for failing to remit money owed to the government, it said on Wednesday.

The central bank tightened restrictions on the flow of dollars to domestic lenders in March. That forced the banks to delay hard-currency loan and trade repayments and increased their risk of default.

Nine banks last week failed to remit at least $2.1 billion in deposits from two state-owned energy companies into a government account, leading to their suspensions.

The central bank lifted the suspension on one of the nine, United Bank for Africa, last Thursday.

Tokunbo Martins, the central bank’s director of banking supervision, said the other eight had all submitted a “credible repayment plan” to remit the outstanding money.

“As a result of that, all those banks have been reinstated in to the foreign exchange market,” she said.

President Muhammadu Buhari last year ordered all state accounts to be merged into a single one at the central bank to reduce corruption.