CBN’s dollar restrictions killing our businesses, Nigerians cry out

Nigerians have expressed dissatisfaction over new foreign exchange restrictions that imposed on bank customers by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Majority of bank customers with domiciliary accounts are barred from effecting direct FX transfers to third parties and/or withdrawing their own dollars over the counter under the new restrictions.

Speaking on the new policy, the founder of the financial advisory portal, The Money Africa, Oluwatosin Olaseinde, took to Twitter to lament the new policy on Tuesday, September 22.

She tweeted: “We have just been informed that customers can no longer effect FX transfers directly to third parties. Customers can only sell such funds to the bank. Consequently, FX transfers will be disabled on internet banking.”

Recall that the CBN had on August 24, issued a circular removing buying agents/companies or any third parties from accessing its inter-bank retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) forex window through FORM M forex purchases. In the circular, the apex bank instructed that “authorised dealers are hereby directed to desist from the opening of Form M whose payment is routed through a buying company/agent or any other third parties.”

The CBN said its decision was to ensure prudent use of our foreign exchange resources and eliminate incidences of over-invoicing, transfer pricing, double handling charges, and avoidable costs that are ultimately passed to the average Nigerian consumer.

Reacting to Olaseinde’s tweet, many Nigerians berated the CBN for constraining customer’s use of their hard-earned resources.
In his reaction, a Twitter user @dapsonblue asked the federal government to focus on developing local production, rather than make life unbearable for the citizens.

He said: “They should focus on developing local production, they have little power of dollars.”

Other tweets show the displeasure of Nigerians to the CBN’s policy with many placing the blame at CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele’s feet. Some even went further suggesting that Mr Emefiele should resign.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, September 10, directed the CBN not to issue foreign exchange for food and importation of fertilizer.

It was reported that the president gave this directive to the CBN during the meeting of the National Food Security held in Abuja.

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