The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to set up teller points to meet legitimate foreign exchange (FX) demands.
This development comes after the apex bank halted the sales of FX to Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operators.
At the end of the CBN monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, accused BDC operators of turning away from their objectives.
He also alleged that the BDC operators have become conduits for illegal financial flows working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.
CBN said it will continue to channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate FX demands.
In a circular on Wednesday, Haruna Mustapha, CBN director of banking supervision, noted that banks should carry out adequate publicity for the location of designated branches.
“Further to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) briefing of July 27, 2021, all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are hereby reminded to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX requests for Personal Travel Allowance, (PTA), Business Travel Allowance (BTA), tuition fees, medical payments. SMEs transactions, amongst others,” the circular reads.
“In this regard, DMBs are also required to adequately publicize the locations of the designated branches and make necessary arrangements to sell FX to customers in cash and/or electronically in compliance with extant regulations.”
CBN also warned banks to ensure that “no customer is turned back or refused FX provided that documentation and other requirements are satisfied”.
It added that banks should establish electronic applications and alert systems to update customers on their FX requests.
“Equally, undue delays, rationing and/or diversion of FX is strongly discouraged whilst DMBs are required to establish electronic application and alert systems to update customers on the status of their FX requests,” the statement added.
“As communicated during the briefing, a toll-free line has been set up at the CBN for bank customers to escalate unresolved complaints related to their FX requests.
“The CBN will continue to closely monitor banks’ conduct and compliance with this directive to ensure an efficient FX market for all legitimate users. Please note that any breach of the directive will be severely sanctioned.”
On Wednesday, the naira weakened to N525 per dollar at the black market and traded moderately at N411.60/$1 at the importer & exporter (I&E) window.