By Obinna Chima
Desirous of enhancing foreign investment flow into the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks and other authorised dealers to immediately commence the issuance of electronic Certificates of Capital Importation (eCCI) with effect from today.
The central bank stated this in a letter signed by its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, W.D. Gotring, a copy of which was posted on its website.
The letter stated: “In a bid to enhance transparency and efficient processing of foreign investment flows to the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria hereby informs authorised dealers and the public of the deployment of the electronic Certificate of Capital Importation (eCCI) platform.
“Accordingly, the eCCI shall replace the hard copy CCI normally issued in respect of all capital inflows either in form of cash or machinery/equipment.
“Consequently, effective from Monday, 11th September 2017, the processing of Certificate of Capital Importation in Nigeria shall only be done electronically on the eCCI platform. Please note and ensure compliance accordingly,” the statement read.
A CCI is a certificate issued by Nigerian banks confirming the inflow of foreign capital, either in the form of cash (loan or equity) or goods.
A CCI is usually issued in the name of the investor within 24- 48 hours of the inflow of the capital into Nigeria.
The primary purpose of the CCI is to guarantee access to the official foreign exchange market for repatriation of capital and returns on investment – dividend, interest, and capital on divestments.
A copy of the CCI must be presented to the Nigerian bank to process a remittance by the requesting company.
Historically, CCIs have been issued in hard copy and, for repatriation purposes, the hard copy of the CCI had to be marked down by the bank.
This, according to a report by PwC, led to a situation whereby investors were unable to make repatriations in the event an original CCI had been lost or destroyed.
“The CBN has now decided to automate the process by migrating to electronic CCIs. The e-CCI will be on a server that is maintained by the CBN.
“The e-CCIs will make it easier to process transactions, ease the process of tracking transactions and make it easier to amend the CCI where an investor transfers investment in Nigeria to another investor.
“The CBN has directed banks to migrate all active CCIs to e-CCIs. It is clear that government is keen to move from manual to electronic systems. This should lead to better efficiency, ease of transactions and more transparency.
“Affected companies should liaise with their banks to confirm the specific process and requirements for migration of the paper CCIs,” the PwC report added.