Commercial banks set up forex desks, sell dollar at N412

Commercial banks in Abuja have set up teller points for foreign exchange (FX) transactions in their branches in compliance with the new regulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The banks had also sent out email messages to their customers over the weekend, informing them of the latest development and documents required for the FX transactions.

TheCable had reported last week that the CBN directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to set up teller points to meet legitimate foreign exchange (FX) demands.

This was after the apex bank announced the discontinuation of FX sales to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, had accused BDC operators of turning away from their objectives and working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.

He also said the CBN would continue to channel the sale of FX to commercial banks to meet customers’ needs.

According to newsmen, Fidelity Bank, Keystone Bank and Zenith Bank, all in the Central Area of Abuja, showed that they all had designated teller points for FX transactions.

Bank officials said the dollar was selling at an official rate of N412 and that each traveller was entitled to buy 4,000 dollars per quarter for personal travels and 5,000 dollars per quarter for business travels.

However, a BDC operator, simply identified as Goodness, told TheCable they are still observing the turn of events and how the new development might affect their business.

He said the CBN has only stopped selling directly to them, but they still buy from individuals and organisations who wish to sell their dollars.

“For now we are still watching. We have not noticed any changes, just that the CBN said they will not sell dollars to us anymore. I don’t know how it will affect the market. We are still selling and buying from people who want to sell,” Goodness said.

“I guess they want to reduce the number of people in the market, this is not the first or second or third time they are doing auditing. They do it all the time. So let’s watch and see, but for my company, we are still working.”

On Monday, the naira gained N3 at the black market to trade at N512 per dollar at midday.

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