By Oludare Mayowa
The Nigerian currency further reversed its loss against the greenback on the parallel market on Monday, closing at N512 to the dollar as commercial lenders started selling dollars to retail customers at near official window rate.
The naira firmed against the dollar from N515 per dollar it closed at the parallel market on Friday as banks justle for the attention of retail customers in the wake of the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to suspend dollar sales to Bureau de Change operators.
In an email to its customers on Monday, First Bank Limited, Nigeria’s oldest lender said getting dollar for school fees, travel allowance has become easy at many of its branches.
“Getting FOREX for school fees, medical bills, Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) is now as easy as A, B, C,” the bank wrote in an email to customers.
The lender also promise its Visa gold card holders of the possibility of access to $1,000 daily ATM transactions, $5,000 online transactions and $10,000 payment through the PoS.
“With a daily spend limit of $1,000 on any ATM, your summer trip is about to be lit! Make purchases and payments of $10,000 on POS and $5,000 online from anywhere in the world,” the bank said.
The local currency, however, depreciated by 0.02 percent at the NAFEX window as the dollar was quoted at N411.50 as against the last close of N411.44.
Traders said most participants maintained bids between N400.00 and N412.25 per dollar at the so-called Importers and Exporters’ (I&E) forex window also know as NAFEX.
The naira had fell against the dollar on the parallel market to N525 to the dollar last week following the decision by the CBN to suspend dollar sales to BDCs and divert the weekly sales to banks.
The CBN subsequently directed banks to open forex exchange desk for retail customers to enable them have access to BTA, Medical and school fees for their wards.
On Monday, some banks quoted the naira at N412 against the dollar for retail customers. This, however, excluded other transactional charges they expect their customers to pay on dollar purchases.