Based on some field reports, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) relayed it has barred over 12 deposit money banks (DMB) from the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) foreign exchange window market for flouting regulations, regarding small businesses.
The CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, who confirmed the development, stated that the banks were banned for refusing to sell forex to the SMEs after accessing over $300 million supplied to them through the SMEs wholesale forex window since its formation in April. The apex bank took the decision to suspend the erring banks based on field reports, which showed that only eight banks had sold forex to the SMEs.
He added that only Access Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank, Heritage Bank, Jaiz Bank, Sterling Bank, Unity Bank and Zenith Bank, sold forex to SMEs.
Okorafor however cautioned that the CBN would not rest and allow any form of unsteadiness in the interbank forex market caused by the actions of institutions or individuals. He therefore advised all stakeholders to work according to the rules for the benefit of the whole country and its economy.
It will be recalled that The CBN on Tuesday, continued its huge intervention in the foreign exchange subdivision of the financial market by pumping a total of $196.2 million into the different segments of the forex market.
According to Okorafor, the apex bank and financial regulator offered $100 million to authorized dealers at the Tuesday’s forex wholesale auction, $52 million for the SME sector, and $44.2 million for invisibles such as medicals, travel allowances and tuition, (thecable.ng)
And the concerns are: Is it possible to stress the need for entrepreneurship in our society and at the same time frustrate SMEs’ access to forex as approved by The CBN, and what do we make of this? Is it a case of some of the things we do to ourselves that come back to haunt us? In any case, those affected by the sanction should please have a rethink, so the SME forex window can produce the desired result; and SMEs access forex and be fully productive and grow our economy, as well as the country. The time to think and act is now; these are life and business essentials, so let’s keep thinking clearly. Thank you for reading and do have a beautiful day!
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