By OBINNA EZUGWU

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has resumed dollar sales for SMEs and school fees in line with the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lock down in the country.

The apex bank which announced the decision in a statement by its director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said it has also made arrangements to resume Forex sales to BDC and other segments of the market.

“In view of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lock down both globally and in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has resumed provision of foreign exchange to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay school fees and SMEs wishing to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country. In particular, the CBN is resuming the provision of US$100 million per week for both categories,” the statement said.

“The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels and other designated uses as soon as international flights resume.”

The Bank assured that it has enough Forex to meet all legitimate demands and therefore cautioned against panic buying, even as it vowed to look out for speculators and punish anyone or institutions involved in any nefarious activity.

“With these actions, the CBN wishes to reiterate that it is adequately meeting the need of all legitimate users, and our continued capacity to do so should not be in doubt. There is therefore no need for panic by any end-user that could necessitate recourse to illegitimate sources and spike in foreign exchange rates.

“Given this, the bank has ramped up its surveillance of the foreign exchange market for speculators, smugglers and other illegal users, and will take decisive actions against anyone/ institutions involved in such nefarious activities.”