Naira strengthens to N375 per dollar
Barely 24 hours after it directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to sell for- eign exchange sourced from it to retail end-users at not more than N360/$1 for Personal/ Business Travel Allowance (PTA/BTA) and other invisibles, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday also fixed N360 to a dollar, as the rate at which Bureaux De Change (BDCs) will henceforth be allowed to purchase greenbacks from International Money Transfer Organisations (IMTOs).
It also fixed the rate at which BDCs will from now on sell dollars to end users at not more than N362/$1. Before now, BDCs were buying dollars from IMTOs under the supervision of the CBN at a rate of N381 to the dollar and selling at N399/$.
The announcement of the new forex rate for BDCs came as the CBN confirmed that the $100 million it offered to authorized forex dealers in the interbank wholesale window to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers was fully subscribed at yesterday’s auction . Traders said the regulator sold $1.5 million yesterday to boost liquidity but also sold the naira at N306.15/$ on the spot market, 20 per cent weaker than the parallel market rate.
The CBN’s almost daily dollar sales have crashed dollar rates at the parallel market to about N375/$ and N365/$ in Lagos and Abuja respectively. The CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the new forex rate for BDCs and the full subscription of the$100 million at the interbank wholesale market.
Okorafor said the objective of the new forex sale directive was to ensure a convergence of the rates in the interbank and BDC, stressing that the CBN remained committed to ensuring transparency in the market and fairness to endusers, many of who hitherto experienced challenges in accessing foreign exchange.
He therefore urged licensed BDCs to play by the rule, cautioning that the CBN would not hesitate in sanctioning any erring dealer. Okorafor advised stakeholders to play their respective roles in ensuring a smooth running of the foreign exchange market for the benefit of the Nigerian economy.
Reacting to the development, the Acting President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadebe, Gwadabe commended the CBN for heeding the appeal of BDCs for a level playing field for all players in the forex market. The ABCON boss pledged the commitment of all BDCs in collaborating with the apex bank to sustain the gains recorded by the naira against the dollar.