●Banks get 48hrs deadline to process export proceeds form
The naira further strengthened to N383 per dollar on the parallel market yesterday from N395/$1 last Wednesday as traders prepared for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the dollar supply to Bureaux De Change (BDCs).
Also, the apex bank yesterday directed banks to process Nigerian Export Proceeds (NXP) form and render returns to it within 48 hours of a customer submitting an application and complying with the appropriate documentation.
President of the Association of Bureaux De Change Owners of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, confirmed to journalists that the banking watchdog sold $20,000 each to BDC operators yesterday after selling $20,000 each earlier this week to boost liquidity.
Gwadabe said the increase in currency sales to exchange bureaux would help take out pressure from the parallel market, adding that some importers were no longer bringing forward dollar demand as liquidity continues to improve.
It will be recalled that after injecting $280 million into the Foreign Exchange Market last Tuesday, the apex bank last Wednesday carried out spot, wholesale interventions in the interbank forex market by offering a total sum of $100million to authorized dealers to meet the 7 to 15-day forwards requests of customers.
Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, however, disclosed that the banks and authorized dealers were only able to pick up $68.51 million.
Okorafor attributed the inability of the authorized dealers to fully subscribe to the CBN to a surfeit of forex in the system, which may lead to further appreciation of the naira.
According to him, the trend monitored by the apex bank indicated that lenders are now able to meet the forex demands of their customers within the time frame stipulated by the CBN.
Speaking further, Okorafor said feedback on the bank’s forex new window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country revealed that majority of the small importers were heading for a major boost in their activities.
This he said was responsible for the current appreciation of the Naira, stressing that the local currency will continue to gain strength with the relentless efforts of the CBN to to supply the market with forex.
The spokesman also reiterated the determination of the banking watchdog to continue to intervene in the various sectors of the interbank forex market in order to guarantee access to all categories of customers requiring forex for legitimate obligations and ultimately ensure stability in the forex market.
Meanwhile, in a circular entitled, “Revised import and export documentation and timeline for processing Form NXP” posted on its website yesterday, the CBN stated that the federal government approved the reduction of documentation requirements and timeline for import and export trade transactions, as part of efforts to create an enabling environment for doing business in the country.
According to the circular, under revised import documentation, importers are now required to provide Bill of Lading, Certificate of Origin, Commercial invoice and Form M.
Other documentation include Exit note, Packing List, Product Certification and Single Goods Declaration (SGD). Similarly, under the revised export documentation, exporters are expected to provide Nigerian Export Proceeds Form (NXP) along with Bill of Lading, Certificate of Origin, Commercial invoice and Clean Certificate of Inspection.
The circular comes 48 hours after the CBN, in a bid to improve liquidity and the ease of doing business, cut the amount of paperwork SMEs must provide to buy dollars.
It introduced 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.