As part of efforts to ease the mounting foreign exchange challenges in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will soon increase the disbursement of forex to meet demands forpayment of school fees for Nigerian students abroad, medical expenses, personal and business travel allowances. It was gathered that the Apex bank will henceforth give weekly allocations of $1million to Deposit Money Banks (DMB) in the country, while the banks would be expected to sell to their customers at the rate of N375 per dollar. The National Economic Council (NEC) had on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, urged CBN to immediately review the exchange policy. Council members had expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and has called for an urgent review of the forex policy, especially the gap between inter-bank’s and the parallel market’s rates. A reliable source in CBN has disclosed that the apex bank is currently perfecting plans to effect weekly allocations of $1million for the DMB. In recent times, the CBN, in meeting the dollar demand of the country, particularly for sectors that are crucial to economic growth and development, had regularly sold foreign exchange at the forwards end of the interbank market to clear the backlog. Last month, the apex bank sold $660 million in three- and five- month currency forwards at an auction. Banks were asked to bid in a special currency auction targeted at clearing backlog of dollar obligations of manufacturing, airlines, agriculture and petroleum sector. This was the first major dollar sales to the key sector by the CBN this year in a bid to spur growth and revive the nation’s economy, which slipped into recession last year due to currency crisis necessitated by drop in global oil prices. The CBN during the week had released the total amount of dollar allocation to customers in December last year and January this year. Together, banks in the country had sold $2.83 billion for utilization in the critical sectors of the economy such as manufacturing, agriculture, raw materials, aviation, and petroleum products amongst others in line with the 60:40 foreign exchange policies.

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