CBN increases forex allocations to banks for SMEs, tuition fees, travellers
Chike Olisahby Chike Olisah June 7, 2021Reading Time: 2 mins read
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CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an increase in the amount of foreign exchange allocated to banks to meet the requests of customers.
This follows requests of travellers seeking foreign exchange for travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees, among other Invisibles, and a warning issued by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at a meeting with the Managing Directors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
The caution is coming due to complaints and challenges faced by customers in accessing forex from banks with the apex bank warning that it will take action against any bank that denied customers the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange for legitimate purposes.
This disclosure was made by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, on Sunday, June 6, 2021, who confirmed the discussions at the meeting of bank chiefs.
It was stated that Emefiele warned the Chief Executives of banks to stop denying customers, particularly travellers, the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange.
This includes a foreign exchange for the purposes of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), tuition fees, and medical payments as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) transactions or for the repatriation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proceeds.
According to the sources, CBN may release hotlines for aggrieved customers to report banks that fail to sell foreign exchange to them even after providing required documentation.
What the CBN Director of Corporate Communications is saying
Nwanisobi said that the bank remained committed to ensuring liquidity in the foreign exchange market and ensuring it meets genuine and legitimate demands of customers.
He said, “The CBN agreed to increase the amount allocated to banks for travellers, Small and Medium Enterprises among others.
The banks also agreed to operate something akin to foreign exchange imprest account such that the coffers of banks would be replenished so long as they retire the initial amounts to the satisfaction of the CBN.”
Nwanisobi urged interested members of the public seeking to purchase foreign exchange for PTA, BTA, payment of tuition fees or medical fees to approach their respective banks for that purpose.
He said, “We wish to assure members of the public that the CBN shall continue to monitor market developments and is committed to ensuring an efficient FX market for all legitimate users.”
Nwanisobi urged them to forward their complaints to the Central Bank of Nigeria via the Bank’s toll-free line: 07002255226 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if their requests are not met.
The increase of forex allocation to the deposit money banks will go a long way in meeting forex demand for genuine users and ease pressure on the black market.
The exchange rate has been on the increase at the black market, mostly due to activities of speculators, since the adoption of the NAFEX rate as the official exchange rate by the CBN.