The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has opened a special Forex window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable SMEs import eligible finished and semi-finished items.
The CBN spokesmsn, Isaac Okorafor, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said that the SMES would be permitted to import items not exceeding 20,000 dollars for an enterprise per quarter.
He said that the Bank’s special intervention was necessitated by its findings that a large number of SMEs were being crowded out of the forex space by large firms.
“The sum of 20,000 dollars per SME customer per quarter can be effected by telegraphic transfer subject to completion of Form ‘M’ supported with proforma Invoice and the importer’s Bank Verification Number (BVN).
“All processing banks are to ensure that the importers submit relevant shipping documents not later than 60 days from the date of the transfer.
“Information posted on the CBN website defines Small and Medium Scale Enterprises are enterprises that have asset base (excluding land) of between N5 million and N500 million and a labour force of between 11 and 300,” he said.
Okorafor further disclosed that the Bank had begun the massive sale of foreign exchange in different sectors of the Forex market this week.
He said that on Monday, the Bank intervened by offering 100 million dollars to authorised dealers at the forex auction in the interbank wholesale window.
He said that 41 million dollars was also sold for BTA, PTA, medical and tuition fees.
According to Okorafor, 99.544 million dollars was also picked up by dealers out of the 100 million offered by the Bank during the last wholesale auction on Friday.
Meanwhile, operators in the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment have duly funded their accounts with the CBN in anticipation of picking up the dollar equivalent of 10,000 on Tuesday.
Market analysts believe that the CBN may continue its special intervention in the market with the sale of more dollars to BDCs, thereby bringing down the price of Dollar.