The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Monday, 10th of April, 2017, opened a special foreign exchange window for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, to enable SMEs import eligible finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for an enterprise per quarter.
The apex bank also reduced the tenor for its forward foreign exchange transactions from 60 days to 30 days Meanwhile, Bureaux de Change, BDCs, operators, yesterday, demanded that the CBN, to increase the allowable margin on dollar sales in the sub-sector.
Announcing the special window for SME, Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the apex banks special intervention was necessitated by its findings that a large number of SMEs were being crowded out of the forex space by large firms. Under the special arrangement, enterprises with employee strength of between 10 to 199 and asset base of between N5 million to less than N500 million will be offered the opportunity to import eligible items within the approved threshold.
Okorafor further disclosed that the bank had begun the massive sale of foreign exchange in different sectors of the forex market this week. Yesterday, the bank intervened by offering $100 million to authorized dealers at the forex auction in the inter-bank wholesale window. The bank also sold $10,000 each to BDCs to meet the needs of low-end users in the country.
The spokesman said the dealers in the wholesale segment will have value for their respective bids on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.
BDCs demand increased margin
Meanwhile, BDCs operators demanded that the CBN increase the allowable margin on dollar sales in the sub-sector.
Rising from a meeting of Chief Executive Officers of BDCs, organised by the Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, they lamented that the N2 margin presently allowed by the CBN for dollar sales in the sub-sector was inadequate given the operating cost of each operator.
Addressing journalists at the sidelines of the meeting, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe said: On margin, we have told the regulators that it is small. In other climes, there are margins that are up to 10 per cent. The margin of N2, we feel is still small. So, let the CBN review that margin to at least N10 per dollar.