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CBN directs banks to open foreign exchange outlets in major airports

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To ease the burden of travellers, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)  has directed all banks to open Foreign Exchange outlets to sell dollars and other hard currencies at major airports.

According to a statement signed on Tuesday by the CBN
acting Director of Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, the
banks are to do so as soon as logistics permit.

Okorafor said that this would also ensure that transactions were
settled at much more competitive exchange rates.

“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.

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

“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,” he said.

Okorafor said that the apex bank had also reduced the tenure of
its Forward Sales from the current maximum cycle of 180 days,
to not more than 60 days from the date of transaction.

“In order to maintain confidence in the FX market, the CBN will
immediately begin implementing its articulated programme to
clear all the unfilled orders in the interbank FX market.

“Given our plan to meet all unfilled orders, and provision of FX
to the manufacturing sector would remain the CBN’s strong
priority, we will no longer impose allocation rules on commercial
banks.

“We will implement an effective intervention programme to
support the inter-bank market to ensure adequate liquidity
necessary to deliver an efficient FX market,” he said.

Okorafor said that the FMDQ trading had also been advised to
activate its Foreign Exchange Order-Book systems as soon as
possible and also accelerate the on-boarding of FX clients on
the FX Relationship Systems to ensure total transparency of the
FX market.

The apex bank urged market participants to assist in ensuring
that these new measures were followed to preserve the external
reserves, stability of the financial system and economic growth
for the benefit of all Nigerians

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