• Saturday, February 24, 2024
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CBN offers to cover legitimate requests for FX


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured bank customers and individuals wishing to source foreign currency for eligible personal purposes like medical bills, school fees, mortgage payment and even goods, that their requirement will continue to be met by the apex bank, despite the ban on foreign currency cash deposits into domiciliary accounts.

According to Olakanmi Gbadamosi. CBN’s director for trade and exchange, “individuals that wish to source foreign currency for eligible and legitimate purposes such as BTA, PTA, medical, mortgage, school fees, goods etc can do so through recognised channels with the use of Form A for invisible and Form M for visible transactions.”

A very senior apex bank official told BusinessDay yesterday, that the prohibition of foreign currency cash deposits was not meant to punish Nigerians doing legitimate business but that it will curb illicit flows in the country.

The official said all legitimate requests would go through.

He explained that tourists who visit Nigeria have no need to come in with cash to settle their bills, given that they can settle these bills using their cards.

In his circular of August 5, Gbadamosi had said the CBN was
keen to stop all illicit financial flows in the Nigerian banking
system in alignment with the antilaundering stance of the Federal Government.

On Thursday July 29, Standard Chartered Bank fired the first
circular to customers, saying “we are constrained due to the current influx of foreign exchange (FX) cash deposits we have been receiving in recent times, and the lack of available FX cash outlets,to stop receiving FX cash deposits.”

Other banks were to follow in rapid succession, dealing a blow to what has become a thriving avenue for putting a legitimate stamp on illicit funds in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, CBN will today formally seek the cooperation of the deposit money banks in its current effort at sanitising the foreign exchange market as it parleys with banks today in Lagos, Business Day investigations have shown.

Specifically, BusinessDay gathered that CBN would seek for reciprocal gestures from the lenders on the recent ban of importers of some luxury items from accessing official foreign exchange window following its tacit support for banks’ rejection of foreign currency.