CBN Takes New Measures to Improve FX Liquidity

  • Banks now to sell fx to customers and non-customers

Kunle Aderinokun

The Central Bank of Nigeria has rolled out fresh measures to improve foreign exchange liquidity and ensure that eligible travellers are able to access foreign currency.

A statement by the apex bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made available to THISDAY yesterday said all Deposit Money Banks had been mandated to buy and sell foreign currency to travellers (both customers and non-customers) upon presentation of relevant valid travel documents such as visa and tickets over the counter, adding, that all travellers would be attended to immediately at the bank’s counters.

“Any contravention will be sanctioned by the CBN,” he warned.

According to him, “All BDCs shall henceforth access dollars from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is compulsory that all BDCs access currency at least three times weekly. Any BDC that fails to access the FX window at least three times weekly shall have their license reviewed by the CBN. Compliance is Compulsory.”

The new directive is in furtherance of the CBN’s series of measures at sustaining forex liquidity in the economy.

For instance, the apex bank had some time ago in a bid to ease travelers’ burden directed banks to open outlets at major airports to sell forex.

“Similarly, the CBN is providing direct additional funding to banks to meet the needs of Nigerians for Personal and Business Travel, Medical needs, and School fees, effective immediately,” the apex bank had said.

“For medical and school fees, such payments must be made by commercial banks directly to the institution specified by the customer,” it had added.

“The CBN would ensure that this process is as smooth as possible and that as many customers as possible get the foreign exchange they genuinely demand. “The CBN expects such retail transactions to be settled at a rate not exceeding 20 per cent above the interbank market rate,” it had added.