24 September 2012 [ESAT]
While private and government banks are suffering from a recurrent shortage of foreign currency, Wegagen bank is providing foreign banking services to its customers.
Though IMF country officials announced the availability of enough foreign currency for up to two months of import transactions in the country, most banks including the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia have almost suspended the provision of letter of credit services.
Importers who have applied for foreign currency could not open LCs and had to wait up to six months only to be told that they still there isn’t enough foreign currency in national reserve for disbursement. Business owners especially those in the importing business are the ones who are hurting as the result of the shortage. Some even say they had to suspend and cut back major business operations as a result of the shortage.
Our reporter has talked to a few prominent importers in the Addis Ababa. Many have expressed their surprise at how Wegagen Bank could open multiple LCs to party TPLF affiliated businessmen while other ordinary Ethiopian business people had to wait for more than 6 months to open a single LC.
Wegagen Bank is one of the multiple conglomerates under the EFFORT umbrella owned by Tigrai People Liberation Front.