Nigerian banks have started complying with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive and are granting Nigerians going on international trips up to $4,000 foreign exchange to meet their travel needs.
This is following the CBN’s directive to banks to make forex available for legitimate needs such as travel allowance, tuition, and medical fees.
It was gathered that some of the banks had stated providing people going on business trips a maximum amount of $4,000 for each trip.
BizWatch Nigeria had reported that the apex bank promised to support bank customers with forex for Small and Medium Enterprises transactions or for the repatriation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proceeds.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at a meeting warned the Managing Directors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to stop denying customers, especially travelers, the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange.
Emefiele warned that the CBN would severely deal with any bank that denied customers the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange for legitimate purposes.
The CBN management at the meeting complained about the difficulties customers experienced in accessing foreign exchange through their respective DMBs, particularly for Invisibles such as PTA and requests bordering on tuition and healthcare needs.
The financial regulator threatened to release several hotlines for aggrieved customers to report any bank that fails to sell foreign exchange to them even when they have provided the required documentation.
Confirming the discussions at the meeting, the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, said that the CBN remained committed to ensuring liquidity in the foreign exchange market to meet genuine and legitimate demands of customers.
He said, “The CBN agreed to increase the amount allocated to banks for travelers, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) among others.”