CBN increases forex allocations to banks

NEWS DIGEST – The Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday announced an increase in foreign exchange allocations to banks to meet the requests of customers.

These requests include travellers seeking foreign exchange for travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees, among other invisible.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at a meeting with the Managing Directors of Deposit Money Banks over the weekend.

Emefiele cautioned the banks to desist from denying customers, particularly travellers, the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange, adding that CBN would take action against any bank that denied customers the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange for legitimate purposes.

According to sources at the meeting, the Governor pegged the purposes for this foreign exchange as Personal Travel Allowance, Basic Travel Allowance, tuition fees, and medical payments as well as Small and Medium Enterprises, transactions or for the repatriation of Foreign Direct Investment proceeds.

Confirming the decisions made at the meeting, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, 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 added.

He also noted that the apex bank remained committed to ensuring liquidity in the foreign exchange market to satisfy genuine and legitimate demands of customers.

He urged members of the public interested in purchasing foreign exchange for PTA, BTA, payment of tuition fees or medical fees to approach their respective banks for that purpose.

Nwanisobi further stated that customers can forward their complaints to the Central Bank of Nigeria via the available channels.