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CBN launches portal for forex price verification to streamline import transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a foreign exchange (FX) price verification system (PVS) portal, aiming to facilitate importers’ access to forex.

In an official statement released on Thursday night, the CBN emphasized that, effective August 31, 2023, a price verification report from the portal would be mandatory for all Form M requests.

Form M is a fundamental declaration indicating the intention to import tangible goods into Nigeria.

In the issued statement, the CBN noted, “Having successfully concluded pilot runs and comprehensive training sessions with all banking institutions, the Central Bank of Nigeria announces the official commencement of the Price Verification System (PVS).”

The statement continued, “All submissions for Forms M must be accompanied by a valid price verification report generated through the price verification portal. This circular unequivocally establishes the indispensability of the price verification report before the Form M process is finalized.”

The directive extends to authorized dealers, who are instructed to inform their customers of the newly mandated requirement.

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The CBN also emphasized that any violation of this requirement would be met with appropriate sanctions, urging strict adherence to the guidelines by exporters.

Back in June 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the unification of all segments of the foreign exchange (FX) market, marking the cessation of its direct control over forex market mechanisms.

This move aligned with the federal government’s directive and paved the way for market forces to dictate exchange rates.

In the aftermath of this policy shift, the Nigerian naira encountered significant fluctuations as market dynamics began to shape prices. Last week, the naira dipped to an unprecedented low of N955 against the dollar in the parallel market before rebounding to N890 in the parallel market of the FX window.

This rebound followed the CBN’s announcement of forthcoming measures aimed at stabilizing the naira against the dollar, though the precise relationship between the PVS portal and these measures remains unclear.

As part of measures to support the local currency, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) this week secured a $3 billion emergency crude repayment loan to bolster the naira’s stability and provide support to the FX market.

While the exact interplay between the PVS portal and these recent developments awaits clarification, Nigeria’s financial landscape continues to evolve amid efforts to strengthen currency stability and foster economic resilience.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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