There is enough forex for business owners, travellers and parents with students abroad to meet their obligations, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, who stated this yesterday at the 278th Monetary Policy Committee press briefing, held in Abuja, also said that at least $80m were disbursed to banks on a weekly basis to enable Nigerians meet their forex responsibilities.
He, therefore, charged Nigerians to report any bank withholding forex to a special call centre of the apex bank.
According to Emefiele, “There is enough foreign exchange for people to meet their obligations . If you have forex obligations, they will be met. There is no need to panic or for everyone to rush to the bank at the same time and create an atmosphere of panic and give some people the opportunity to rip-off innocent people.
“CBN disburses not less than $80 million to banks weekly. In fact we will create a help-desk where people can call the CBN directly to complain if you need forex to pay school fees or BTA and say, ‘I went to such and such a bank and was told there if no forex.’”
He also said Nigeria had not changed from its foreign exchange management policies.
Emefiele 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.”
He also said the statement credited to the minister of finance that the country had moved into a flexible exchange rate was not true.
Emefiele also disclosed that the MPC retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent.
While presenting the committee’s report, he said loosening would create excess liquidity, which would intensify demand pressure on the foreign exchange market.
“In summary, the MPC voted to retain the MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent,” he said.
On agricultural interventions, Emefiele said, “The rising insecurity in some food producing areas, is limiting the expected outcomes in terms of supply to the market, thus contributing to the rise in food prices.
“The MPC reiterated its concerns on the activities of persons and groups causing security challenges in the food producing areas of the country, as this has contributed to the major uptick in food prices across the country.”