IN order to further increase foreign exchange liquidity in the market and ensure availability Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed banks to open teller points in all their branches so that their customers can have access to foreign exchange without any hindrance.
In a circular Ref: FMD/DIR/CIRIGEN/08/005 dated March 3, 2017 titled Foreign Exchange Directives of March 3, 2017
The banks were also directed to have electronic display boards in all their branches, showing rates of all traded currencies and process and meet the demand for personal travel allowance and basic travel allowance (PTA/BTA) by customers within 24 hours of such applications.
“Process and meet demands for school fees (including allowances) and medical bills within 48 hours of such applications.”
The circular, which was signed by Director, Financial Markets Department Dr. Alvan Ikoko, warned that “non-compliance with these directives would attract sanctions, including but not limited to being barred from all future CBN foreign exchange interventions.”
Naira has been gaining against major international currencies in the foreign exchange market in recent weeks due to its decision to deepen its intervention in the market.
CBN’s spokesman, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, said that the bank is now in a better position to supply forex demands by Nigerians to meet their invisible needs like BTA, PTA and medicals.
According to him, on the first occasion, the CBN placed $500 million dollars but that only N$370 million was taken.
On a second occasion, the apex bank placed $230 million and that only $221 million was taken, to demonstrate that the pressure was easing in the market.