CBN mandates banks, others to prioritise attention to legitimate FX demand
by Onyinye Nwachukwu, Abuja
August 10, 2015 | 10:05 am| | | Start Conversation
The Central Bank of Nigeria, on Sunday, directed all authorised dealers in foreign exchange (FX) to henceforth treat as top priority all legitimate demand for FX for eligible transactions.
The CBN also reassured that all legitimate requests for FX for eligible transactions, normally referred to as “invisibles,” such as remittances for school fees, student maintenance allowances, BTA, PTA, medical and other eligible transactions, would be fully met at the official/interbank exchange rate.
Already, all the legitimate demand for such transactions through recognised channels has so far been fully met by CBN.
The latest directive, which is another measure to check huge FX arbitrage in the system, had become necessary following observations that most banks were in the habit of denying or frustrating customers who want to genuinely source FX for remittances for school fees, student maintenance allowances, BTA, PTA, medical and other eligible transactions with excuses that they were working inline with CBN directives.
But BusinessDay was told that, unfortunately, some local banks officials often deny FX access even to these genuine customers just to make provision for their own concerns.
“That is a lie, there was no such CBN directive to banks at any point to deny access to legitimate FX demand,” a CBN top official told BusinessDay recently.
In a statement signed by Ibrahim Mu’azu, CBN director of corporate communications, the apex bank once again advise individuals that wish to source foreign currency for such eligible transactions to approach their banks with their legitimate demand as the CBN has made adequate provisions of foreign currency for all such legitimate and eligible purposes.
“The CBN hereby directs all authorized dealers in foreign exchange in Nigeria to henceforth treat as top priority all legitimate demand for foreign exchange for eligible transactions,” the CBN noted.
It further assured that holders of naira denominated debit and credit cards would continue to have access to the use of their cards at ATM machines in any part of the world, but subject to the annual limit of $50,000.
ATM withdraws is still restricted to a maximum of $300 per day.
“The general public is hereby advised to channel any complaints arising from any authorized dealer’s refusal to process such legitimate demand to the Director, Consumer Protection Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, for necessary action,” CBN noted in the statement.
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