The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monday injected a total sum of $195 million into various segments of the foreign exchange market just as it released new rules to ameliorate the challenges in returning naira to banks for unutilised foreign exchange.
A breakdown of figures released by the CBN showed that the sum of $100 million was offered to authorised dealers in the wholesale window, $50 million to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) window and $45 million to those seeking forex for the purpose of BTA/PTA, tuition and medical bills, among other invisibles.
The new intervention confirmed analysts projections Monday that the CBN would intervene in the market and that the local currency would further firm against foreign currencies.
Indeed, the naira Monday gained 0.55 percent to exchange at N365/$ at the parallel market, while it closed flat against the pound sterling and euro at N465 and N410 on the same market spot respectively.
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At the official market, the naira appreciated by 0.02 per cent to close at N305.95 per dollar, while the Investors and Exporters Forex Window depreciated by 2.03 percent to hit N359 against the United States dollar.
Isaac Okorafor, acting director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, said the bank’s continued intervention was aimed at strengthening the international value of the naira, while ensuring accessibility to the greenback by customers who required it for genuine purposes.
On the other hand, the CBN in a circular titled: “Unutilised FX Returned to the CBN for SMIS Wholesale and Retail Interventions,” said in order to ameliorate the challenges of returning naira to banks for unutilised foreign exchange (FX) banks are now required to batch all unutilized FX and return to the CBN per session/auction with effect from June 26, 2017.
The statement reads: “In order to ameliorate the current challenges in returning naira to banks for unutilised FX and to improve on the current settlement processes, banks are hereby required to batch all unutilised FX and returned to CBN per session/auction with effect from 26th of June, 2017.
The CBN said it took the decision following incessant complaints from deposit money banks (DMBs) over the delay in getting naira value for unututilised portions of FX repatriated to the CBN.
“In other words, where FX was purchased from CBN from a particular session, all unutilised portion of the session should be batched and forwarded to the CBN for settlement on a weekly basis.
“In the same vein, all inflows from the proceed of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) should be batched and forwarded to the CBN for settlement on a weekly basis,” the CBN said.
The CBN therefore urged all authorised dealers to comply with the directive accordingly.
By Aderemi Ojekunle