The Central Bank of Nigeria has concluded moves to fund commercial banks with additional foreign exchange to carter for school fees, medicals and personal traveling allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) at a special rate of N375 to a dollar.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okoroafor, who dropped this hint when he was featured as a guest on Arise News Network, a sister company of THISDAY.
Okoroafor said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria has taken a decision to directly fund banks with additional foreign exchange to be able to take care of some staff personal travel allowance, school fees and medical payments. With that, we have tried to set an exchange rate for those transactions at 20 per cent above the interbank rate – that is, 20 per cent above the interbank rate that ranges between N305 and N315.”
The move by the Apex bank is one amongst several effort to douse the pressure from the fiscal authorities calling for the review of the current exchange rate regime.
The National Economic Council (NEC) raised from a five-hour closed-door meeting, presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, last week to joine the call for the CBN to urgently review the foreign exchange policy.
Daily Trust gathered that the CBN also conveyed an emergency meeting with heads of commercial banks in Lagos last Friday to explore other ways addressing the scarcity of forex and moves by the Apex bank to address forex needs.
The meeting with heads of banks followed the move by CBN last Thursday, to peg the exchange rate for payment of the school fees, and personal travel allowance (PTA) and medicals at N375 to the dollar which will take effect today.
The CBN spokesman advised Nigerians, who have legitimate reasons to procure forex to approach their banks, where their needs would be catered for rather than go to the parallel market. “The banks have been directed to sell to all the people that will come up for it and they actually have been directed to open up avenues at the airport so that they can deal with these demands,” he explained.
Addressing the scarcity of the dollar, Okoroafor said, “the cause is obvious: we can’t earn enough again and we’re trying to rationalize and prioritize what we have at the moment so that it can meet the most basic needs of the country.