Source Forex for Medical Bills and School Fees At Parallel Market – CBN Bankers Committee tell Nigerians
By Ossom Raphael
The Bankers Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria is set to introduce new measures to check the sale of Foreign exchange to Nigerians for payment of school fees and medical bills abroad.
Speaking with journalists after the Committee meeting in Abuja, the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, said with the demand for payment of school fees and medical bills hitting 15 percent of forex demand, the CBN was left with no choice than to stop the sale of forex to such Nigerians.
The Access bank MD, however, advised Nigerians to visit the parallel market to make such transactions as banks would no longer sale forex to them.
According to him “We find different pressures on different bank in terms of demand but generally never bellow 15 per cent of the demand on the current foreign exchange that is been given to the banks, that’s by any stretch of imagination is significant. The deliberations we had today did not agree on final position but one thing was clear which was the fact that we should not allow this demand to crowd-out real sector investment because in any event, the money that you get to pay these school fees is from industry that is working normally locally”.
“The second point is that why can’t we revisit the educational system and make sure our children go to school locally, why can’t we revisit the health care system to make sure it works better. Why must we spent sums of money around allowing people spend monies on children school fees overseas or medical tourism as they call it”
“Now the idea is not that you can’t do it, the point is that you cannot access it from the Central Bank limited resources” Mr. Wigwe stated.
Earlier, Director, Banking Supervision Department, of the CBN, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins, who intimated journalists on some of the issues discussed, disclosed that the banking sector had witness progress in its financial inclusion drive as over 57 million people now have access to financial services which is about 66 per cent of Nigerians.
“A couple of years back Nigerians financially included was between 30-40 per cent. But currently we have 66 per cent of Nigerians financially included. That’s about 57 million Nigerians and the target we are working on is 68.5 per cent by the end of December, 2016” Mrs Matins revealed.
On the N50 stamp duty, the Director, Corporate Communications of the Apex Bank, Ibrahim Mua’zu explained that the banks were only serving as point of collection as it was a Federal Government policy.