The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, said it had directed all banks to immediately start selling foreign exchange for BTA, PTA, tuition and medical fees to customers at not more than N360/$1, after buying at N357.
Banks are required “to post the new rates in the banking halls of their branches immediately.”
To ensure compliance, the apex bank says it would send examiners around to ensure the new rates are implemented.
The CBN also prohibited the banks from selling FX funds meant for these classes of invisibles to Bureau De Change Operators.
It would be recalled that at last week Thursday’s FOREX wholesale auction, the CBN on Friday, March 24, 2017, concluded transactions on the sum of $100 million earlier offered at the interbank market to meet customers’ demands, out of which authorized dealers were only able to pick $81.347 million after an initial bid for $91 million.
Commenting on the offer, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, attributed the inability of authorized dealers to pick up the entire offer of the CBN to increasing dollar supply and sense of apprehension among dealers who anticipate a further crash in the rate of the dollar.
He reiterated the determination of the Bank to sustain its current interventions in the market. According to him, “those who doubt the capacity of the Bank to sustain the intervention in the FOREX market are beginning to have a change of mind”.
In Abuja and Lagos over the week, the Naira sustained its bullish ride against major currencies, especially the United States dollar, which exchanged at an average of $1/N385. This, no doubt, has triggered further apprehension among speculators, who anticipate further losses given the continued crash of the dollar.
With the Naira closing at N307 to the US dollar on Friday and the parallel market rate continuing to slide, the optimism of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to achieve the convergence of Forex rates between the Interbank and the BDCs markets appears to gain more ground.