April 10, 2017 / 8:46 PM / 4 months ago

Nigeria central bank offers SMEs $20,000 in FX per quarter

ABUJA, April 10 (Reuters) - Nigeria's central bank is offering small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) up to $20,000 per quarter, in an effort to prop up businesses whose access to foreign currencies has been overshadowed by larger companies, it said on Monday.

Nigeria is battling a currency crisis brought on by low oil prices, which has tipped its economy into recession, hammered its dollar reserves and created chronic dollar shortages, frustrating businesses and individuals.

The central bank now plans to sell shorter-dated dollar forwards to inject liquidity into the official market and try to support the naira, traders said on Monday.

Also on Monday, the bank auctioned $100 million, it said, with traders saying the sales will be settled within one week and 30 days, compared with the 60-day contracts it had written previously.

The central bank also sold $41 million for travel allowances and medical and tuition fees, it said in Monday's statement. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Additional reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Larry King)

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