Nigerian Banks parade clients who bought dollars at official rate and then sold it for a 37% gain   

28 Feb 2022: Nigerian lenders have finally started exposing names of clients who obtained dollars from the official market by presenting false travel documents and subsequently selling it in the black market for a 37% profit. The average price for buying the greenback at the official market is 416 naira per dollar, while the unauthorized market rate is about 570 naira per dollar. 

Zenith Bank Plc, the nation’s biggest lender by market value, has published 987 names of the fraudulent customers while Fidelity Bank Plc, a mid-tier lender published 83 names. United Bank for Africa Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc and Wema Bank have also published names of customers engaging in this illegal practice on their websites. 

Last year the Nigeria Central Bank alerted the local banks of this malpractice , and released a directive as to identify such clients and ensure that they refund each and every penny.

Africa’s biggest crude producer started rationing dollar supply in 2020 owing to the lower oil income that accounts for about 90% of foreign-exchange earnings. Even though they have had to local currency three times in the last two years they still have about $1.7 billion in unmet dollar demand from investors, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Measures announced by the central bank to curb dollar shortage are not yet yielding the desired results, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

Exposing fraudulent customers is another measure to ensure that this illegal transactions doesn’t keep happening in the future. Oluwasegun Akinwale, an analyst at Coronation Asset Management in Lagos, said by phone. “For individuals, it’s going to depend on the environment the person works or what he does,” he said.

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