By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has claimed that at least $80 million is supplied to banks on a weekly basis to enable Nigerians to meet their forex demands.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic, saying there is enough forex for business owners, travellers and parents with students abroad to meet their obligations based on the weekly FX sales.
“Part of the measures that we have adopted is that on a weekly basis, the CBN disburses not less than $80 million to the banks either for Personal Travel Allowances or payment of school fees.
“We have created a complaint desk where you can call us or call some of our people who will respond. It is like call centres, where people can call that they went to a particular bank and they didn’t get money to pay school fees or they didn’t get money to travel,” he said on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Emefiele, however, charged Nigerians to report any bank withholding forex to a special call centre of the apex bank, saying the country has not changed from its foreign exchange management policies.
According to him, “Nigeria has not changed from its foreign exchange management policies. Nigeria still remains on a managed float.
“What does a managed float regime mean? [It means] that the central bank, which has a core mandate for foreign exchange management in the country, will run the market, see to how the market operates depending on its readings.
“It might interest us to know that since January, the CBN has not intervened in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window. The market has always operated within a band of around N409 and at some points, it attained N412, N413 and it began to move and that is the way it is supposed to go.”
Mr Emefiele, while also commenting on the statement credited to the Minister of Finance that the country had moved into a flexible exchange rate, said that it was not true.
“The country is deemed not to be practising a multiple currency regime as long as rates vary or range around a band that is not more than 2 per cent below the nominal market rate.
“In our case, the nominal market rate is NAFEX. If the minister says that the rate for monetization is anchored or benchmarked on NAFEX, the Minister has not talked about a flexible exchange rate,” he explained.
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