…I&E window gets $2.2bn in six weeks as naira depreciates to N370/$
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) total intervention at the nation’s foreign exchange market has been put at $6 billion with the new investors and exporters (I&E) window getting $2.2 billion in just six weeks of operation.
The newly introduced Investors& Exporters FX window, the apex bank believes, is responsible for the revived investors’ confidence in the forex market and the nation’s economy.
Speaking at the end of 333rd Bankers Committee meeting, held in Lagos on Thursday, Ahmed Abdullahi, director, Banking Supervision Department of the CBN, said that foreign exchange is improving and investors ‘confidence is building up generally because of the improvement in oil production and prices.
He said that improvement in the forex exchange has helped in stabilizing the market, stressing that with sustainable momentum the Nigerian Gross Domestic Products (GDP) will be on positive growth by third quarter, 2017.
Bola Adesola, managing director, Standard Chartered Bank, said that as part of efforts in diversifying the Nigerian economy, the Bankers Committee has contributed five percent of their profit after tax (PAT), which was agreed at the last commercial banks and the CBN December’s retreat.
She stated further that the equity contribution is currently N26 billion, which is to support the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and agriculture sector.
Although, she said that the framework in accessing the fund is currently working upon but notes that would improve SMEs and the agriculture operators access to finance, adding that the development is part of the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) contributions to the Nigerian economy growth.
Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, pointed out that the bankers committee has agreed to tackle financial inclusion bottlenecks, such has customers of Microfinance Banks (MFBs) registering for their Biometric Verification Number registration exercise in ant of the commercial free of charge.
He stressed that henceforth registration of BVN is now opened for MFBs customers in any of the bank of their choice, so as to promote financial inclusion.
However, Isaac Okorafor, acting director, Corporate Communication, CBN, noted that the regulator would ensure it sustains intervention on the currency market to shore up the naira.
Meanwhile, the foreign exchange rate closed on Thursday at the rate of N370/$, as the naira dropped by three points to a dollar at the parallel market from N367 it opened on Thursday morning. Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N465 and N407 respectively as trading at the interbank window saw the Naira closed at N305.25 to a dollar.