By Babajide Okeowo
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured bank customers that it would monitor commercial banks to ensure legitimate Foreign Exchange (FX) demands of customers are met.
Mr Osita Nwanisobi, Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, gave the assurance in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
The apex bank’s assurances followed Monday’s commencement of its directive to Deposit Money Banks, to sell foreign exchange to customers, for invisibles such as basic travel allowance, PTA, medical and tuition.
The CBN also dismissed speculations that it planned to convert the foreign exchange in domiciliary accounts of customers into naira.
Nwanisobi said the CBN had put in place monitoring mechanism to guarantee the seamless sale of FX to customers who supported their requests with relevant documentation.
He said the CBN had also extracted the commitment of the banks, through their Chief Executive Officers, that customers with legitimate requests would not be turned back.
Nwanisobi dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the CBN planned to convert the foreign exchange in the domiciliary accounts of customers into Naira in order to check shortage of dollars.
According to him, the CBN never planned to tamper with the foreign exchange deposits in the accounts of customers.
He described those making such allegations as criminal speculators whose intention was to create panic in the foreign exchange market.
He said, “At no time did the CBN ever suggest or imply that it would tinker with the foreign exchange deposits of customers.”
He urged operators of domiciliary accounts and other bank customers to go about their legitimate foreign exchange transactions and disregard fictitious stories aimed at pitching them against the bank and triggering chaos in the system.
It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at his post Monetary Policy meeting briefing on July 27, said the CBN would stop the weekly sale of foreign exchange to Bureaux de Change.
The governor said also that deposit money banks would henceforth, sell to customers to meet their foreign exchange needs.
Banks’ Chief Executives had at a meeting, at the weekend affirmed their readiness to meet the foreign exchange demands from genuine Foreign Exchange end-users as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.