FG proposes 2-year jail term for Nigerians hoarding dollar.

The Federal Government has proposed an amendment to the Foreign-Exchange Act to enable the imprisonment of anyone who holds foreign currencies, especially the dollar, for more than 30 days

This is the latest measure the government and the Central Bank of Nigeria are considering to stem the volatility in the exchange rate and bolster the ailing naira, according to a Bloomberg report.

In the new proposals, which were published on the website of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission last week, the CBN is seeking the power to control capital flows and stop people from taking forex out of the country.

According to the draft amendment of the Foreign Exchange Act, anybody holding dollars in cash for more than 30 days risk a jail term for as long as two years or a fine of 20 per cent of the amount.

Regulators should also be able to prevent money being repatriated “in accordance with the terms and conditions as may be prescribed by the central bank from time to time,” the draft states.

The existing law is “narrow in scope and prohibits the seizure, forfeiture or expropriation of imported money by the government without providing for exceptions,” it adds.

The amendments, according to the document, are necessary “for effective monitoring and control, and to ensure probity in foreign exchange transactions in Nigeria.”

The CBN has increased capital controls since the price of oil, Nigeria’s main foreign exchange earner, started crashing in the second half of 2014.

It had pegged the naira for 15 months until June this year, a move analysts blamed for causing investors to flee the country, the economy to contract in the first half of the year and the inflation rate to rise to an 11-year high.

The latest move will further worry foreign investors, according to a Lagos-based research and investment advisory firm, SBM Intelligence.

The Department of State Security officials had last week arrested some black market forex dealers for exchanging the naira at a rate weaker than 400 per dollar, compared with the existing street rate of around 460.

The naira-dollar official exchange rate, which analysts accused the CBN of still manipulating, is 315 against the greenback.

“The CBN wants to take its regulatory onus to frightening proportions,” analysts at SBM said in an e-mailed note in response to the new draft law.

“The move smacks of desperation and can only result in negative investor perception and capital flight,” they added.

The Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank did not introduce the bill in a text message response to Bloomberg. He did not elaborate.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, while reacting to the development said, “If it did not emanate from the CBN as claimed by its spokesman, it may have emanated from the Presidency or other sources. But the fact is that when you compel people not to hold dollars after stopping the use of naira debit cards abroad, you are discouraging people to bring in money into the country.

“You also push more people to the parallel market and create further gap between the official and black market exchange rates.”

NNPC Urges Nigerians To Report Cases Of Hoarding, Sale Of Fuel Above Official Price

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advised the general public to report cases of hoarding and selling of fuel above the official pump price by its outlets accross the country.

 

The Managing Director of NNPC in charge of retail, Mr Ladipo Fagbola, made the call in Abuja on Monday.

He said that NNPC was monitoring activities of its retail fuel stations to check sharp practices among them.

Fagbola noted that given the large volume of fuel supplied in the country, NNPC would ensure that Nigerians received the best services at the fuel stations.

He urged Nigerians to report fuel stations which engaged in hoarding of petroleum products and selling above the official pump price of N87.

He said the NNPC had made available some hot lines to receive complaints from members of the public.

He urged members of the public to contact the corporation and report sharp practices on the hot lines 08057008021, 08052195801 and 08100941174.

“When you get to NNPC retail stations and you see things that are not right, please call these lines, take photographs of whatever you see is wrong and send it upline,’’ he said.

Oladapo urged Nigerians not to hesitate to contact NNPC in the event of any sharp practice.

It will be recalled that on Friday, NNPC at a news conference, said it dispatched 656 million litres of fuel across the states of the federation.

The corporation, which decried the long queues at the fuel stations, said an additional 756 million litres of fuel were being expected by the end of November.

 

(NAN)

DPR Seals Total’s Depot, Others for Hoarding 46m Litres Of Petrol

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday closed down the depots of Total Nigeria Plc, Dee Jones Limited and Eterna Oil Plc in Ibafon area of Lagos for hoarding over 46 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol.

The agency has also debunked the claims by marketers that there was scarcity of petrol and blamed the tight supply situation on depot owners, who hoard products, thus causing panic buying.

While Total and Eterna Oil were hoarding 13.6 million litres each, when DPR’s surveillance monitoring team visited the depot of Dee Jones which was hoarding about 19.5 million litres.

However, the General Manager of Dee Jones, Mr. Willy Ikeora, denied that the company was hoarding the product in its depot, stressing that they were loading but not as fast as expected by DPR.

The regulatory authority also queried Ascon Oil and ordered the management of the company to appear at the agency’s head office by 3pm yesterday and explain why the company should not be sanctioned for its slow pace of loading tankers, despite the availability of eight million litres in its depot.

Integrated Oil and Gas Limited was also directed to speed up the loading process as the company had up to 10.2 million litres of petrol when the agency’s surveillance monitoring team paid an unscheduled visit to the facility.

Credit: ThisDay

DPR Threatens to Clamp Down Stations Hoarding Petrol

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday threatened to clamped down indefinitely any petrol filling station engaged in hoarding.

Chioma Njoku, Operations’ Controller for Lagos Zone of the agency, made the assertion in Lagos. Njoku said that the agency’s surveillance teams would clamp down on filling stations hoarding petrol or selling above the approved rate of N87 per liter.

According to her, the department has been inundated with complaints from the public on the arbitrarily fixing of petrol prices above the government approved rate.

She said such actions of the marketers negated the rules of engagement, stressing that DPR would sanction any outlet that indulged in illegal acts. Njoku also charged marketers of petroleum products in Lagos to ensure that the products supply and distribution to the public met the recommended specifications.

She said that DPR had sanctioned some erring marketers caught hoarding petrol and engaging in other sharp practices. She said the DPR would have sanctioned many more stations that were caught with sharp practices but decided to warn them due to the situation at hand. She said also that the current scarcity was artificial and that the DPR would continue to ensure compliance at the filling stations and depots across the country.

Credit: NAN

PDP Accuses INEC , APC of Hoarding PVCs

PDP has alleged that officials of INEC are conniving with members of the APC to deny non-indigenes in APC-controlled states of their PVCs.

Olisa Metuh, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the party has more facts suggesting that the INEC officials and the APC were working together to shut out the non-indigenes because of their perceived political affiliation.

He noted that the aim is to deny the PDP of its well-deserved victory in APC states since these non-indigenes are supporters of the PDP. He described the development as a crime against the electoral process.

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