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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN opened a special foreign exchange window for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, yesterday,to give SMEs the opportunity to import eligible finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for an enterprise per quarter.

The CBN reduced the tenor for its forward foreign exchange transactions from 60 days to 30 days.  Also yesterday, Bureaux de Change, BDCs, operators, demanded that the CBN increase the allowable margin on dollar sales in the subsector.

According to the Vanguard, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor announced the special window for SME. He said the apex bank’s findings that a large number of SMEs were being crowded out of the forex space by large firms which necessitated its special special intervention.

Enterprises with employee strength of between 10 to 199 and asset base of between N5 million to less than N500 million will be offered the opportunity to import eligible items within the approved threshold under the special arrangement.

Okorafor disclosed that the bank had begun massive sale of foreign exchange in different sectors of the forex market this week.

Yesterday, the bank offered $100 million to authorized dealers at the forex auction in the interbank wholesale window. CBN also sold $10,000 each to BDCs to meet the needs of low-end users in the country.

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