By Odunewu Segun
The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered all deposit money banks to immediately commence the sale of foreign exchange to their customers at not more than N360 to the dollar.
According to spokesperson of the CBN, Isaac Okarafor, who announced the news directive on Monday, March 27, said all customers requesting forex for their basic transport allowance and personal transport allowance, tuition and medical fees, would henceforth get at an exchange rate not more than N360 to the dollar.
“The CBN will sell to commercial banks at N357 per dollar “Banks are to post the new rates in their banking halls of their branches immediately, he said.
The apex bank also disclosed that it would send examiners to commercial banks across the country to ensure the new foreign exchange rates are duly implemented.
The CBN sold FOREX to banks at N357/$1, while banks will sell to their customers at N360/$1 for invisibles (BTA, medicals, fees, etc).
The CBN which prohibits banks from selling forex funds meant for invisibles to BDCs, also directed banks to post the new rates in the banking halls of their branches immediately
The naira has in the past week seen a geometric appreciation following interventions by the central bank. The Naira recorded an appreciation of 12.36 per cent at the parallel market in the last one week.
While the Naira appreciated, the leader of bureau de change operators in Nigeria said his members lost N130 million due to the mode of Central Bank’s intervention in the past week.
As the Naira continues to appreciate, experts say it is necessary for the CBN to adjust applicable rates in different segments of the market in the overall interest of the economy. Traders are optimistic that the national currency value could rise to about N350 against the dollar soon.