The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed commercial banks to open teller points for selling dollars to Nigerians.
The teller points will be replicated in all branches of banks where dollars are to be sold to end users with genuine demands and documents.
Speaking yesterday during a webinar to announce banks’ readiness for dollar sales in Lagos, Chairman, Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Herbert Wigwe said the banking industry is willing, ready and able to carry out the CBN’s directive on dollar sales to end users.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had announced at the close of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja stopped weekly allocation to BDCs and directed banks to sale personal travel allowances, business travel allowances, school and medical fees payment, among others.
CBN weekly interventions of $100 million will now go to the banks for meeting foreign exchange demands. Many banks also attract foals from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) which will serve as additional interventions for sales. Emefiele had accused the BDCs of breaching regulatory guidelines, including engaging in money laundering.
Wigwe, who spoke in the presence of other bank CEOs from Guaranty Trust Holding Company, First City Monument Bank, Unity Bank Plc, Ecobank Nigeria Limited, among others, said the banks will take necessary measures to ensure compliance with foreign exchange sales guidelines set by the apex bank.
He said the banks have more than enough capacity in terms of branch network, manpower and technology to sale dollars to end users.
“Banks have very strict compliance in terms of Know Your Customer and all of that. In terms of verification and making sure that people who apply are eligible, the banks more than any other institution are ready to do it. So, we are going to provide this service and make sure that we have various branches across the country and meet the requirements,” he said.
Also speaking, Managing Director/CEO Guaranty Trust Holding Company, Segun Agbaje, said issues of documentation and check for documents integrity will be handled by Chief Compliance Officers of banks to ensure that only people with genuine demands get dollars from the banks.
“We imagine that there could be some compliance issues that may come up. It is also important for us to state that if we see those things happen, we will report to the CBN and to the law enforcement agents. If people are coming with things like second passport and all of that, they will be reported to the law enforcement agents,” Agbaje said.
He said that customers interested in buying dollars cam start going to the banks for their dollars adding that branches where the dollars are to be sold will be announced to the public even as customers with fake documentation will be prosecuted.
“We are going to run a very transparent process and the heads of compliance will ensure that everything works according to regulation. We are putting infrastructure in place to ensure we make success of the process,” he said.