The directives by the Central Bank of Nigeria directing banks to start selling dollars for invisibles transactions such as personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, school fees and others at N360 to a dollar has been described as a right move in the right direction.
For this purpose, the apex bank released $85 million for sale to banks N 357/$1 for onward sale to retail end-users at not more than N360/$ for invisibles. The bank also offered $100 million to authorized foreign exchange dealers in the interbank wholesale window to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers.
Commenting on this development, President, Bank Customers Association of Nigeria, BCAN, Mr. Uju Ogubunka, said the directive of the CBN would provide succour for travellers and businesses.
He said: “The situation now looks like a fixed exchange rate, which in my opinion is better that having a system where you can’t plan or do anything because you don’t know what the rate is going to be.
“With the rate fixed, people can plan. And it is also a way of controlling the exchange rate differentials, moving from N480 to N360. To me, I think it’s fair enough. I believe the people will appreciate it.”
Speaking on the new directives, CBN Acting Director Corporate Communication Dept, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, disclosed that the CBN will sell dollars to the banks for invisibles at N357 per dollar, the banks have been directed not to sell above N360 per dollar.
He said the rates in the interbank window for wholesale transactions would still be determined by activities in the interbank market.
He further disclosed that all the banks had also been directed to immediately post the new N360/$1 rate on electronic display boards in the banking halls of their branches, adding that examiners from the CBN would visit banks to ensure the new rates are implemented.