The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will provide $100m weekly to cater to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises import funding and school fees, as the West African country sets to gradually get back to some form of normalcy.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last Monday announced a “gradual easing” of the coronavirus disease-induced lockdown on Lagos and Ogun states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, from Monday, May 4, 2020.
In a statement on Thursday, CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okoroafor, disclosed that the resumption of dollar sales became necessary to revamp economic activities across the country, while also enabling parents to access Foreign Exchange to pay their wards’ school fees.
The statement read in part: “In view of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown both globally and in Nigeria, CBN has resumed provision of Forex to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay school fees and SMEs wishing to make essential imports to revamp economic activities across the country. In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of over $100m per week for those categories.
CBN also assured that complete arrangements were in place to resume Forex sales to bureaux de change for onward sales to travellers as soon as international flights resume.
The apex bank further reiterated that it had the capacity to meet the needs of legitimate users and that there should be no need for panic purchases of Forex in order not to cause hike in Forex rates.
“The CBN wishes to reiterate that it is adequately meeting the needs of all legitimate users, and our continued capacity to do so should not be in doubt. There is therefore no need for panic buying by any end-user that could necessitate recourse to illegitimate sources and hike in Forex rates.
“Given this, the bank has ramped up its surveillance of the Forex markets for speculators, smugglers and other illegal users, and will take decisive actions against anyone/institution involved in such nefarious activities.”
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