CBN to end forex sales to banks

From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it would cease feeding commercial banks with hefty foreign exchange (forex) before year end, urging them to source forex themselves to operate.

This was as the Bankers Committee unveiled the “Race to $200 billion in FX Repatriation” programme (RT200 FX), an initiative that aggregates a set of policies, plans and projects for non-oil exports that will enable Nigeria rake in $200 billion in foreign exchange, exclusively from non-oil exports, over the next three to five years.

CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the disclosures in Abuja at a media briefing on Thursday.

According to him, “the era is coming to an end when because your customers need $100 million demand for FX or $200 million and you want to pack all the dollar and pass it to the CBN to give you dollar. It is coming to an end. Before or latest end of this year, we will end it. Don’t come to CBN for FX again. Go and generate your own export proceeds. Fund those who want generate export proceeds.

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“When those proceeds come, we will fund them at five per cent  for you. When those proceeds come, they will earn rebates that’s how we can help you.  FX import-export is their bread and butter. “Build your foreign exchange from your export customers to generate FX to fund your import customers. That is the best I can do to help them. Run your race for your profitability and make your shareholders happy”, Emefiele said. On the RT200 programme, he said it is not intended to be a silver bullet to all Nigeria’s problems in the export segment, but a first step meant to ensure that the apex bank carries  out its mandate more effectively and efficiently in order to guarantee the preservation of the scarce foreign reserves, and the stability of the Naira. “It is only by boosting productive and earning capacity of this economy that we can truly preserve the long-term value of our currency, as well as the stability of our exchange rate”, he said.

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Emefiele further said that the apex bank’s cocktail of economic interventions was responsible for the rather swift recovery of the economy after being jolted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These policies and measures also led to a significant improvement in diaspora inflow from an average of $6 million per week in December 2020 to an average of over US$100 million per week by January 2022.

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