Isaac Okorafor, the acting director of coporate communication of the apex bank, who confirmed the figure, said the fresh release is to meet invisibles such as basic and personal transport allowances, medical bills and school fees.
Invisibles are those items in the export trade that are untouchable, like movement of money and family, including BTAs, medical bills, plant and machinery as well as finished products.
Okorafor said the CBN also offered additional $150 million to authorised FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window to meet their customers’ demand.
To further ease the access of customers, the CBN had also directed all banks to pay cash over the counter to interested forex customers.
He also disclosed that the apex bank had adjusted the sale of forex to Bureau De Change operators to Tuesdays only to reduce logistical difficulties, adding that henceforth, the CBN would sell $10,000 only to low-end forex dealers once a week.
While urging the banks to oblige the genuine requests from their customers, the CBN spokesperson advised customers to report through available platforms any bank refusing to cooperate with the CBN.
Okorafor said on Sunday the CBN would disabuse the notion by some market speculators that it would not be able to sustain its FOREX intervention efforts.
Below is the bank’s statement in full;
There is Adequate Forex for PTA, BTA, Tuition & Medical Fees
Information reaching the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reveals that some customers seeking to buy forex for BTA, PTA, medical and school fees are being frustrated by some banks with the false claim that the CBN is not allocating enough forex to them for BTA, PTA, Tuition and Medical fees.
This claim is totally untrue. All banks have more than enough stock of forex in their possession for the purpose of meeting genuine customers’ demand for BTA, PTA, tuition and medical fees. Indeed, on a weekly basis, the CBN has been selling at least $80m to banks for onward sale to their customers for these invisible items.
Members of the public seeking to buy forex for the above-mentioned purposes are, therefore, advised to go to their banks and obtain their forex. Any customer who is not attended to within 24 hours for BTA/PTA or 48 hours for tuition and medical fees should call 07002255226 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the name and branch of the non-cooperating bank.
Furthermore, no customer should accept to buy forex from any bank at more than the CURRENTLY prescribed rate of N360/$1.
Ag. Director, Corporate Communication