Nigeria’s apex bank boosts forex supply with $240m

*Central Bank of Nigeria.

*Urge bank customers to insist on current prescribed rate

04 April 2017, Sweetcrude, April — The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has pumped another $240 million into the foreign exchange market as part of efforts to checkmate speculators who making illicit gains on currency trading.

The apex bank released the sum of $90 million to meet requests for invisibles such as BTA/PTA, medical and school fees and also offered a total of $150 million to authorized FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window.

The CBN’s Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor who confirmed the figures, said that the CBN had adjusted BDC sale days to Tuesdays to reduce logistical difficulties.

He disclosed that henceforth the CBN would sell $10,000 only to low-end forex dealers once a week.

Okoroafor disclosed that the CBN has also directed all banks to pay cash over the counter to desiring foreign exchange customers.

He urged the banks to oblige the genuine requests of customers and advised customers to report any un-cooperating bank to the CBN through available platforms.

Meanwhile, CBN has fashioned a mechanism for monitoring and sanctioning banks and bureau de change that engage unwholesome practices and the hoarding of foreign currencies.

Some customers seeking to buy forex for BTA, PTA, medical and school fees have complained of being frustrated by some banks who say that the CBN has not allocated enough forex to them for BTA, PTA, Tuition and Medical fees.

The Central bank insists that all banks have more than enough stock of forex in their possession for the purpose of meeting genuine customers’ demand. On a weekly basis, the CBN has been selling at least $80m to banks for onward sale to their customers for these invisible items.

The spokesperson of CBN, Isaac Okorafor urged legitimate customers to insist on the current prescribed rate of the foreign exchange.

“Any customer who is not attended to within 24 hours for BTA/PTA or 48 hours for tuition and medical fees should call 07002255226 or send an email to cpd@cbn.gov.ng, with the name and branch of the non-cooperating bank.”

The CBN spokesman said he was optimistic that the sum of $150 million offered to authorized FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale window to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers would be fully subscribed at the auction as was the case at the last auction in March 2017.

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