London, UK | – Nigeria has banned a plethora of the country’s banks from foreign currency trading after they allegedly failed to pay more than $2 billion owed to state-owned oil giant Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The nine banks were given a deadline to pay the $2.1 billion owned to NNPC, but almost a year since the deadline expired none of them have paid up.
NNPC complained to President Muhammadu Buhari about the missing funds, which led to the bans for Diamond Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, First City Monument Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank and United Bank for Africa, the report said.
President Buhari has tried to instil new political and economic measures to weed out corruption in Nigeria, in particular in the country’s staple oil industry. The state’s coffers have been severely dented by the drop in the oil price as well as sustained attacks on oil infrastructure by militant groups, which has chopped production.