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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has resumed the provision of foreign exchange to commercial banks for onward sales to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) wishing to undertake the importation of essentials needed to help revamp the economy devastated by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The apex bank announced the resumption of the exercise on Wednesday in a statement by its spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor.

He said the CBN also took into consideration the interest of parents who may need foreign exchange for the payment of their children’s schools fees in view of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

In particular, the CBN said it was resuming with the provision of over $100 million per week for both categories.

Mr Okoroafor said the CBN also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the market for business travels, personal travels, and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.

“With these actions, the CBN wishes to reiterate that it is adequately meeting the needs of all legitimate users, and our continued capacity to do so should not be in doubt.

“There is therefore no need for panic by any end-user that could necessitate recourse to illegitimate sources and spike in foreign exchange rates,” the CBN spokesperson said.

Given the current circumstance, he said the bank has ramped up its surveillance of the foreign exchange markets for speculators, smugglers and other illegal users, and will take decisive actions against anyone/institutions involved in such nefarious activities.

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