CBN opens Forex window for airlines, oil marketers

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a special market intervention for airline operators, oil marketers, and agricultural businesses to enable them clear a backlog of foreign exchange obligations.

In a notice to lenders issued yesterday, the CBN said it planned to settle the bids through a combination of spot and short-term forward deals. However, the apex bank did not specify the maximum amount of dollars it will sell.

“Authorised dealers’ accounts with the central bank will be debited in full for the naira equivalent of the dollar bid amount on a spot basis,” the bank said.

It could be recalled that in May; the CBN published a list of 36 items for which importers can source foreign exchange (Forex) from the market excluding operators in the airline, oil, and agro-based industries.This fresh Forex window is to grant them some reprieve following several stakeholder engagement and meetings.

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Area Manager, South West Africa, Samson Fatokun, said foreign airlines have found it increasingly difficult to repatriate their earnings due to the dollar shortage in the country brought on by the low earnings from crude oil sales.

Fatokun, however, explained that IATA had been engaging government through the Ministry of Transportation, CBN and the Vice President’s office.

“We are engaging government through the ministry, CBN and Vice President and government is giving the Aviation Ministry the best possible attention the sector deserves. We are addressing the issues and government is giving us support,” Fatokun had said.

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