Confusion over CBN’s Naira/Dollar exchange rate

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Despite accusing black-market operators of exchange rate manipulation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been displaying the incorrect Naira to the dollar exchange rate on its website for the past few weeks.

It was gathered that the CBN website (www.cbn.gov.ng) is displaying the lower interbank exchange rate for Naira to the dollar as a replacement for the default NAFEX/Investors and Exporters window exchange rate adopted in July.

For instance, data from FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (“FMDQ”) where investors and exporters’ official trade foreign currency showed that Naira closed at N414.30 against the dollar on Friday.

Despite having an investor and exporter window rate, the CBN’s site showed that the Naira traded for N410.81/$ the same day. However, the N410.81 was the closing rate for the Interbank FX market on Thursday.

The CBN in July removed the N379/$1 exchange rate from its website which announced that the NAFEX window rate was the default reference exchange rate for official and legitimate transactions.

This followed a consistent update that tallied with what was quoted on the FMDQ Securities website until recently.

The decision to use the NAFEX exchange rate on its website was intended to unify the country’s numerous exchange rates while also allowing the Naira to find its own value without much interference.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank had been mounting pressure on the CBN to give up its monopoly on the exchange rate determination.

 The Interbank Foreign Exchange Market (IFM) is the market “within banks” as trading between them represents an agreement to exchange the approved amounts of currency at the specified rate.

For FMDQ to determine NAFEX rates it uses pool submissions by the 10 contributing banks who bid for forex on behalf of their clients.

The bidding amount during the day is then calculated using a trimmed arithmetic mean.

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