CBN Enforces Electronic Certificate of Capital Importation (eCCI)
Hello people, I hope your day is going well. Today we would be discussing the Certificate of Capital Importation and CBN’s move from physical hardcopy certificates to electronic certificates. So if you don’t know, a certificate of capital importation (“CCI”) is a certificate issued to foreign investors bringing in foreign exchange to invest in Nigeria. Its aim is to provide foreign investors a statutory evidence of capital inflow or investment into Nigeria for the purpose of facilitating the repatriation of returns (dividends or interest) or capital on divestment back to the base country of the investor. In simple terms, it allows foreign investors access foreign exchange in Nigeria at the official rate (CBN rate).
With the Central bank’s main focus of bringing in foreign investments into Nigeria, a directive was issued yesterday regarding obtaining the CCI. The directive signed by CBN’s Director, Trade and Exchange informed authorized dealers and the public of the deployment of the electronic Certificate of Capital Importation (“eCCI”) platform.
The eCCI is to replace the previously issued hard copy CCI certificates, hereby making it easier and faster for investors to obtain the certificate. The directive states that the eCCI would replace the hard copy CCI effective from Monday, 11th September 2017 and the processing of capital importation in Nigeria shall be done only through the Ecci platform.
Aside from the obvious advantage of easing the process and making it faster for the investor to obtain the CCI, there are many other benefits to the incoming investor. Such benefits include having it backed up on a server maintained by the CBN, which makes it easy for CBN to confirm the CCI’s during the period of a foreign investor applying for repatriation of funds. Previously, all CCI’s had to be marked down by the CBN for repatriation purposes and reports of CCI’s getting misplaced or destroyed have been given by foreign investors, thereby making it impossible for them to make repatriations at the official exchange rate.
A benefit to Nigeria is that investor confidence would increase and foreign investors would be more willing to make investments In Nigeria given that there is an efficient system for assisting in the repatriation of returns to their home country. This is very important to the economy of Nigeria because for example when I was working at United Capital, a client had a parent company in the US, but needed money to finance a project and the idea of the parent company financing part of the loan was brought up but the parent company was unwilling because at the time our currency was very unstable and the parent company did not want to face the risk of not being issued a CCI, being told there is no available fund to sell at the official exchange rate as at the time they need the money or misplacing the CCI. I think the eCCI now eliminates three of their concerns.