First Bank sensitises SME operators to CBN FX window accessibility
As part of its efforts to promote the recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) special Foreign Exchange (FX) window, FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has engaged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), on sensitisation programme to enhance operators’ accessibility of the platform.
The CBN, on April 10, opened a special FX window SMEs for import of eligible finished and semi-finished items not exceeding $20,000 for an enterprise per quarter.
To this effect, Firstbank of Nigeria organised a one day SME’s programme for SME’s in Lagos at the weekend to align with the CBN as agent of implementation of the policy and to sensitise them on the requirements and procedures for accessing the forex window.
To access the window, the bank explained that the sum of $20,000 per SME customer per quarter can be effected by telegraphic transfer subject to completion of Form ‘Q’ supported with offshore proforma Invoice and the importer’s Bank Verification Number (BVN).
They also explained that SMEs are enterprises that have asset base of between N5 million and N500 million and a labour force of between 11 and 300.
Speaking at the programme, the Chairman of the bank, Ibukun Awosika said: “We invest heavily in sustainability programmes. A lot of entrepreneurs lack knowledge. We do not have critical thinking as part of education. We support SMEs ideas in a way that allows us function as a bank.
“We have invested in making sure you understand it. We always think about your interest. If your plan is for your business to grow, you must find sustainable way to get fund.”
She told participants that of all the banks operating in the country, FirstBank is most committed to SMEs, adding that the bank is critical in supporting the growth of the sub-sector.