Deposit Money Banks in the country are set to commence the sale of foreign currencies as Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance BTA) to end-users, it has been learnt.
The move came on the heels of major falls in the naira-dollar exchange rate at the parallel market from 241 to 251 in the past seven days.
Banking sources said the Central Bank of Nigeria and the chief executive officers of the commercial banks had commenced talks to ensure that the DMBs begin the sale of forex in form of the PTA and BTA to members of the public as early as next week.
The CBN had last Wednesday denied over 1,600 Bureaux De Change operators access to the $30,000 limit weekly forex sale after they failed to render returns on the utilisation of previous forex purchased from the CBN window.
The development led to scarcity of forex in international airports across the country, forcing the naira to depreciate against the dollar at the parallel market from between 241 and 243 to 251.
However, the latest move by the CBN in collaboration with the commercial banks is expected to lead to huge supply of dollars to end-users, particularly travellers in the market.
The development is expected to reduce the pressure on the naira occasioned by the scarcity of dollars at the parallel market.
The discussions between the CBN and the banks over the commencement of forex sales is expected to be finalised at a meeting slated for this weekend, according to top baking sources privy to the discussions.
It was also gathered that the central bank had put measures in place to ensure that licensed forex dealers at the airport, particularly Travelex, sell forex to intending travellers.
The Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Ibrahim Mu’azu, said the banks were selling forex to legitimate end-users, adding that the central bank had put in place measures that would ensure that “all legitimate needs are met.”
“Anybody that presents all the required documents will have their requests met. It is only those who have things to hide and are not ready to present all necessary documents that may not go to buy from the forex dealers; rather, they will want to buy at higher rates where they won’t present any document,” Mu’azu said. Punch
Infrastructure Bank vows to accelerate economic growth
The Infrastructure Bank Plc has expressed its commitment to deepen the funding of key facilities that will promote growth and development of the economy.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, the bank’s Managing Director, Adekinle Oyinloye, said the lender was predominantly focused on Nigeria, and its option to be a regional player would be considered at the right time.
He listed some of the projects as the $1 billion rehabilitation and reconstruction of the 127 kilometer Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He said the lender’s engagement is in its capacity as Advisor and Finance Arranger to the Federal Ministry of Works, to secure funds required to implement the EPC contract for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and expansion of the 127 kilometer dual carriageway.
He put the project cost at N167 billion, adding that the funds are to be disbursed in two tranches, under a private finance scheme.
He said the bank is collaborating with key stakeholders, including the Federal Ministries of Finance and Justice, as well as local and international financial institutions, which have made indicative offers to participate in the financing scheme.
Oyinloye said the bank is also involved in the development of the 280 kilometer green field dual carriage expressway from Abuja to Ibadan, Oyo State, through Kwara State.
As he put it: “Acting in the capacity of the project developer and lead member consortium, the bank is leading a consortium to develop a 460 kilometer greenfield dual carriage expressway from Gwagwalada, in the Federal Capital Territory, which will cross the River Niger to link the Federal A1 road in Kwara State. It will also connect the Lagos-Ibadan expressway on a design, build and finance, operate and maintain basis.”
He said the roject is estimated to cost N210 billion.
The Infrastructure Bank chief, also listed the Osun State Oshogbo-Ila Odo Road, as among the projects it is engaged in, saying the lender is the preferred bidder on the Lagos metro rail transit, covering a 37 kilometer rail line from Alagbado to Marina with a project capital expenditure of $2 billion and development of 20,000 mass housing units for Federal Paramilitary Forces.
Also in the list is the $1 billion renewable energy and efficient energy projects in the 19 Northern states and N25 billion public mass transit revolving fund.
“The selected track record is but a tip of TIB’s current activities. However, it is chosen to demonstrate the breath and depth of the bank’s impact and potential to effect transnational change nationwide,” he said, adding that TIB is driving projects across the six geo-political zones in Nigeria; working with both public and private sector promoters and sponsors.