Following months of intense pressure from economic analysts, small businesses, manufacturing concerns, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and politicians such as Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has on Monday, January 11, relaxed some of its foreign currency controls by lifting its ban on foreign currency cash deposits in commercial banks.
The new rules will allow customers deposit foreign exchange in cash directly into local banks while the CBN will no longer sell forex directly to Bureau De Change operators in the country.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Ifeanyi Emefiele, who disclosed this in a press statement he personally signed, said the policy should be implemented with immediate effect.
He said: “The Bank would henceforth discontinue its sales of foreign exchange to BDCs (bureaux de change). Operators in this segment of the market would now need to source their foreign exchange from autonomous source,”
“The Bank would now permit commercial banks … to begin accepting cash deposits of foreign exchange from their customers.”
These are part of steps being taken by the CBN to reduce the pressure on the naira, which has been under pressure against major foreign currencies in the parallel market.