The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to bar authorized dealers in foreign exchange (forex) that fail to comply with its new directive on foreign exchange transactions.
According to a circular released over the weekend and signed by Dr. Alvan E Ikoku, Director, Financial Markets Department to all authorized dealers, the apex bank ordered such authorized dealers to “open teller points in all locations in order to ensure access to foreign exchange by their customers without any hindrance.”
Other directives given by the CBN include having electronic display boards in all their branches, showing rates of all traded currencies; process and meet the demands for PTA/BTA customers within 24 hours of such applications and to process and meet demands for school fees (including allowances) and medical bills within 48 hours of such applications.
These directives/ orders the CBN said is “to further increase foreign exchange liquidity in the market and ensure availability to end users.”
The CBN then warned that “non-compliance with these directives would attract sanctions, including but not limited to being barred from all future CBN foreign exchange interventions.”
The apex bank disclosed that it has therefore directed banks to sell business and personal travel allowances to retail customers within 24 hours of filing a demand.
This follows complaints that some banks are delaying the sale of fx to retail customers in contrast to the new forex policy issued by the CBN recently.
The apex bank also says that banks would be compelled to open forex transaction compartments in all branches across the country, to enhance the ease of forex transactions to Nigerians.
For over a week now, the CBN has carried out several interventions in the foreign exchange market to curb the value of the Naira from getting out of control.
The measures have seen the Naira appreciate throughout last week with the possibility of the nation’s currency further appreciating in the near future.