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Naira gains more grounds as CBN records unpurchased dollars return

CBN plans dollar auction sale for airline operators, importers

There is an apparent glut in the foreign exchange market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Thursday, said of $100 million it supplied to meet the requests of wholesale customers, only $91 million was bought.

The development was said to have been as a result of the apex bank’s consistent injection of dollars into the market, since January 2017, which it said is aimed at shoring up the poor value of the naira.

Confirming this, the CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank’s programme of stabilising the naira value, in comparison with other currencies, has come to stay.

He said the foreign exchange dealers in the interbank and parallel markets will continue to derive support from the CBN.

Foreign exchange market observers said the possibility of having naira regain about 60 per cent of its former exchange value could be in the offing, barring any further distortion in the system.

Mr. Andrew Omeofor, a finance analyst with Cortex Management Consultancy, described the policy-drive, which gave birth to attending to the needs of individuals with issues bordering on education and health, as the right decision.

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“But one message is clear from this scenario, which is that if governments, at all levels tackle the issue of education and health, most of the demands for Forex will drastically reduce, thereby having the real sector to be focused on.

“It also means that in no distant time, the parallel market’s wide window will be narrower in what it is offering dollars to the buyers, and that will have the potential to impact positively on the price of goods and services”.

He confirmed that naira has continued to firm up against major currencies, especially the United States dollar, which he said exchanged at N385 at the parallel market on Thursday.

It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, at the post-Monetary Policy Committee briefing assured that the Bank would sustain its forex intervention in the interbank market.

He also expressed optimism about the convergence of forex rates between the Interbank and the unofficial market.

Reports say currency dealers in the black markets were seen scouting for dollar buyers in Abuja and Lagos, as their customers halted buying the hard currency in greater part of last week.

A marketing staff with Alhasan Bureau De Change, one of the dealers in foreign exchange shops at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, lamented about reduced patronage since last Monday.

 

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