Complaints from a cross section of small and medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) that bureaucracy is hindering their access to foreign currencies has seen the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directing that all unnecessary paper works be henceforth removed from any application from the operators.
It was recently reported that not many of the SMEs had indicated interests to accessing special dollar seeded for them, even as they blamed bureaucracy for that.
But in a statement on Tuesday, the apex bank said no officialdom should henceforth be on the way of the SMEs in benefiting from the quarterly reservation of $20,000, aimed at improving their liquidity and means of growing their businesses.
“The objective of this new guideline is to ease the obstacles encountered by the SMEs and improve retail business access to the foreign exchange market.
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“The idea of having the reserved foreign currency is also aimed at reducing the wide gap between official and parallel foreign exchange market rates.
“To show our seriousness, the changes are to take immediate effect, meaning that priority attention will now be paid to any SME, which approaches the CBN, or under institutions under its supervision for assistance for its business,” the statement maintained.
The new directive may proffer lasting solution in addressing the continuous fluctuations in the exchange value of the local currency, the naira, against the dollar.
The apex bank said it was switching to a new application form for those seeking to buy forex at its official window that would require only an invoice and account details of the suppliers providing the goods to be bought with foreign currency.
It noted that its previous system had required more detailed supporting document.\
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