The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it disbursed at least $80m on a weekly basis to enable Nigerians meet their forex responsibilities. This was as part of an effort to address lingering foreign exchange scarcity in the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in its 278th Monetary Policy Committee, urged Nigerians not to panic, saying there is enough forex for business owners, travellers and parents with students abroad to meet their obligations. He charged Nigerians to report any bank withholding forex to a special call centre of the apex bank.
Emefiele said, “Part of the measures that we have adopted is that on a weekly basis, the CBN disburses not less than $80m to the banks either for Personal Travel Allowances or payment of school fees.
“We have created a complaint desk where you can call us or call some of our people who will respond. It is like call centres, where people can call that they went to a particular bank and they didn’t get money to pay school fees or they didn’t get money to travel.”
Emefiele also said Nigeria had not changed from its foreign exchange management policies. He said, “Nigeria has not changed from its foreign exchange management policies. Nigeria still remains on a managed float.
‘What does a managed float regime mean? That the Central Bank, which has a core mandate for foreign exchange management in the country, will run the market, see to how the market operates depending on its readings.
“It might interest us to know that since January, the CBN has not intervened in the I&E window. The market has always operated within a band of around N409 and at some point it attained N412, N413 and it began to move and that is the way it is supposed to go.
Emefiele also said the statement credited to the minister of finance that the country had moved into a flexible exchange rate was not true. However, the governor also disclosed that the MPC retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent.
It also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 percent and 30 per cent respectively.