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CBN to ‘clear $10b forex backlog in two weeks’

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is working with commercial banks to clear $10 billion foreign exchange (forex) backlog within the next two weeks.

Acting Governor Folashodun Shonubi broke the news at a forum on Tuesday in Lagos. He said the backlogs would be cleared through different structures within the forex market.

He said banks, which control 75 per cent of the forex transactions, will play significant role in seeing that the backlog are cleared.

The backlogs, estimated at about $10 billion, include dollar requests from manufacturers and importers purchasing raw material inputs from abroad, parents paying their children’s tuition fees abroad, Nigerians paying medical bills abroad, travellers sourcing Business Travel Allowances (BTAs)  and Personal Travel Allowances (PTA), among others.

These requests were stalled for years due to dollar scarcity, drop in foreign direct investments (FDIs) and foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) inflows, drop in foreign reserves positions amongst other offshore investment opportunities.

Shonubi said the local banks have been working with the apex bank on various structures to clear it.

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