Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, yesterday took unscheduled inspection around some commercial banks in Abuja to ascertain the level of compliance of Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to its latest directives on sale of foreign exchange to Nigerians.
The banks visited are: First Bank of Nigeria at Kumasi House, Central area; Zenith Bank in Maitama District, and United Bank for Africa (UBA), Area-3 branch in the federal capital territory.
The central bank Governor, while conducting a delegation of the bank round the banks, said the banks must sell forex to anybody that walks into any of their branches across the nation. “This is deliberate – whether it is a customer or non-customer of that Bank, it is the banks’ primary responsibility to provide foreign currency for travelers and for the country,” Emefiele said. “The essence of this visit is to see whether the banks are actually doing what we said they should do,” he added.
The CBN at the weekend mandated all the DMBs to ensure they attend to everyone in need of foreign exchange regardless of their banking status. The apex bank said the new policy measures were released to ensure that eligible travelers are able to access foreign exchange and make liquidity available in the market.
All that are needed to access forex are evidence of international passport, visa and traveling ticket. Individuals in need of forex are expected to be attended to over the counter immediately (on request).
Head, branch services of First Bank, Zainab Darlington told reporters that her team had attended to quite a few customers before the arrival of the CBN Governor. “We are still waiting for anybody who would come in and buy the dollar. It is available. We attend to our customers and non-customers once we validate that you have a return ticket, your international passport, your BVN. Feel free. You can walk in anytime and get the dollar,” she said.
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