The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, says it has sold $221.37 million to 16 banks through the interbank foreign exchange (forex) market.
The apex bank disclosed this in its Forex Forward Sales Report on the second wholesale intervention, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
It said that the move was to enable the banks meet demand for Basic Transport Allowance (BTA), school fees and medicals by customers and to ease the stress of genuine customers in obtaining foreign currencies.
The bank said 10 banks accessed $162.8 million at a qualified bid for the United States dollars, ranging from N330 to N360 per dollar on a 30 days tenure, adding that it would mature on March 27.
“For the 60 days tenure, six banks qualified to access $58.52 million with bids for the United States dollars ranging from N315 to N320.5 per dollar meant to mature on March 25, 2017.
“CBN recently unveiled a new policy action to make forex readily available for personal and business travels, medicals and school fees,” it said.
The CBN further said that it injected $370.9 million into the interbank market, through forward sales to 23 banks at a qualified bid ranging from N315 to N360 per dollar.
The apex bank also disclosed that it made spot sales of $6 million to four banks and sold 35 million for the payment of school fees, medicals and BTA.
About 24 hours after the announcement of the new policy, the naira firmed up at the black market from about N520 to a dollar down to the current exchange rate of N440 to a dollar as at Sunday.
Market analysts believe that the dollar will continue to fall until it stabilises at an average exchange rate of about N400 to a dollar.
Emmanuel Ukeje, the Special Adviser to CBN Governor on Financial Markets, said the new foreign exchange policy would help strengthen the value of naira in the market.
Mr. Ukeje further said that to make foreign exchange readily accessible to customers, CBN had also eliminated stiff conditions in applying for BTA in banks.
“The central bank has waved tax clearance provision in accessing these funds, however, your journey must originate from Nigeria.
“You cannot leave overseas and buy BTA to travel. You must have a valid ticket to travel with and a bank account as well as BVN to be recognised as a bank account holder.
“A person is entitled to basic travelling allowance every quarter and not more than 4,000 dollars and it is only those who are 18 years and above that can access it,” he said.