Zenith Bank Releases New Guidelines On Forex Transactions 

Yemisi Izuora

Zenith Bank Plc, has reviewed the utilisation of foreign exchange inflows into customers Domiciliary Account.

The bank stated this in a memo dated September 18 which was titled “General rules guiding FX inflows and outflows.”

The memo said that foreign exchange inflows from non-oil export proceeds could either be sold to banks, used in repayment of dollar term loans or for the purpose of self-utilisation for trade transactions for Letters of Credit, Bills and Form A.

For foreign exchange inflows through oil exports proceeds from Exploration and Production companies, the guideline stipulated that they could be used for four major purposes.

They are either to be sold to the Central Bank of Nigeria, used for payment of contractors and service providers employed by Exploration and Production companies in line with existing CBN guidelines, repayment of dollar term loans or for self-utilisation for trade transactions such as LCs, Bills and Form A as well as other transactions approved by the CBN circular.

For onshore forex inflow, the guideline stipulated that upon confirmation of the legitimacy of the inflows, customers can have unfettered access subject to a maximum of $50,000 per month.

It also stated that onshore forex inflow could be used for trade transactions, repayment of dollar term loans and payment of government fees and levies to sectors such as maritime, oil and gas, aviation, export processing zone.

For cash lodgement over the counter, the guideline stipulated that the origin and source of the forex deposit should be determined to ascertain legitimacy before customers can be credited.

It added that transfer of forex from one customer to another under this type of transaction is prohibited, noting that for related companies, a transaction limit of $50,000 per month would be allowed.

With the release of the guideline, the bank stated that dollar cash deposit by account holders would be in line with prevailing limits.

It said that forex inflows cannot be credited to customers until legitimacy of the funds is established.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had last Month said it would intensify its surveillance on the foreign exchange markets to check the activities of speculators, smugglers and other illegal users.

The CBN had vowed to take decisive actions against any individual or institutions involved in such speculation smuggling and illegal use of foreign exchange in the country.

The apex bank said the warning became imperative following its resumption of dollar sales to Small and Medium Enterprises and payment of school fees.

It said with its decision to release
over $100m per week for both categories, there might be a spike in forex demand by speculators.

The CBN said in view of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown both globally and in Nigeria, foreign exchange would be provided to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents wishing to pay
schools fees.

It also said Small and Medium Enterprises wishing to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities across the country would also benefit from the dollar sale

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