The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released an additional sum of $388.66million to ease pressure on the naira, stimulate business activities and make foreign exchange (Forex) accessible to local operators. Confirming the numbers, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed that the sum of $87.885million was for spot sales, while $300.8 million was sold as forwards.
Mr. Okorafor further explained that the forwards were sold into three tenors of 30, 45 and 60 days respectively. According to him, the Bank sold $100.95 as 30-day forwards; $110.48 million as 45-day forwards and $99.37 as 60-day forwards.
Meanwhile, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has increased its sale of Forex to all customers and members of the public who play in the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) sector, manufacturing, Corporate Bodies as well as individuals. This is obvious in the return on utilisation of allocated FX published weekly by FCMB in national newspapers as demanded by the Apex Bank.
Inquiries made by our reporter confirmed that FCMB has been receiving its requested Forex from the CBN and has seamlessly met its obligations in the sale of Forex to all categories of businesses and individuals as approved by the regulator. CBN has since resumed the sale of Forex to the lender, indicating that the Bank has been readmitted into the spot and wholesale strata of the foreign exchange market by the CBN.
However, the CBN, in the last few days, has extended Forex of various amounts to First City Monument Bank (FCMB) for invisible transactions, SME utilization, SMIS-Wholesale (30-day forward) and SMIS- Retail (Spot). It was also confirmed that about 5.77.06 billion litres of petroleum products valued at N760.44 billion were imported into the country in the first quarter of 2017. For this Nigerians are expected not to entertain any fear about a possible scarcity of petroleum products. The figures were the results of the bids submitted by dealers since Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
The CBN has continued with its intervention in the Bureau de Change (BDC) segment of the market to meet the needs of low-end users, the spokesman said the Apex Bank remained resolute in ensuring that it supplies enough forex to genuine customers and in the process, sustain liquidity in the market. With this development, Mr. Okorafor expressed hope that the CBN would inch even much closer to its objective of convergence of the rates in the interbank and BDC segments.