Published On: Sun, Feb 14th, 2016

CBN, Banks to stop sale of Forex for payment of school fees, medical bills

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CBN bars banksFrom Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)  have resolved henceforth not to issue foreign exchange for the payment of  school  fees and medical bills.

These items constitute 15% of foreign currency demands in the country.

Speaking at the Bankers Committee meeting, the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Mrs Tokunbo Martins said the decision  was a painful sacrifice which Nigerians have to bear in the short term adding that it will have a long term benefit for Nigerians and the economy.

She noted that the banks have resolved that most of the foreign exchange demands would now be granted to  develop the real sector.

Also, in his remarks, the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Nwigwe, explained that the banks have decided to channel such forex to the real sector because those demands tend to crowd out demands to import raw materials and to support industries.

The bank chiefs also said that there was a deliberate effort to increase the rate of financial inclusion which has risen from 30 per cent to 40 per cent in recent times and now it is at 66 per cent. However, they said that their target is to get to 69 per cent before December 2016. This, they said, is by creating agency banking in the north east and introducing policies which will make accounts opening a lot more easier.

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