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June 8, 2021

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced an increase in the amount of foreign exchange allocated to banks to meet the requests of customers.

This follows requests of travellers seeking foreign exchange for travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees, among other Invisibles, and a warning issued by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, at a meeting with the Managing Directors of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).

The caution is coming due to complaints and challenges faced by customers in accessing forex from banks with the apex bank warning that it will take action against any bank that denied customers the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange for legitimate purposes.

This disclosure was made by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department of CBN, Osita Nwanisobi, on Sunday, June 6, 2021, who confirmed the discussions at the meeting of bank chiefs.

It was stated that Emefiele warned the Chief Executives of banks to stop denying customers, particularly travellers, the opportunity to purchase foreign exchange.

This includes a foreign exchange for the purposes of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), tuition fees, and medical payments as well as Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) transactions or for the repatriation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proceeds.

According to the sources, CBN may release hotlines for aggrieved customers to report banks that fail to sell foreign exchange to them even after providing required documentation.