CBN to sell dollars to fuel importers, airlines

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said, on Tuesday it will offer dollar forwards to be delivered within two months to offset a backlog of matured foreign exchange obligations to manufacturers, airlines, fuel importers and agriculture businesses.

“Authorised dealers’ accounts with the central bank will be debited in full for the naira equivalent of the dollar bid amount on a spot basis,” the bank said in a notice to commercial lenders.

“The central bank will settle the bids through forward settlements of two months,” added the bank, which did not specify the amount of dollars to be sold.

The bank had on Monday offered $150 million wholesale forwards to banks and said it also released $90 million for invisible transactions to ensure liquidity in the forex market.

The bank has been selling dollars on the official market in an attempt to narrow the spread with the black market exchange rate of the naira.

However, the naira currency was quoted at 390 to the dollar on the black market on Tuesday, against 395 a dollar on Monday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N480 and N415 respectively.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the naira was sold at N362 to the dollar, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N483 and N430 respectively.

Trading at the interbank market saw the naira closed at N306.25.

Traders at the market said that the intervention by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the different segments of the foreign exchange market was driving the strengthening of the naira against the dollar.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) had predicted the appreciation of the naira as BDCs set to receive more Diaspora remittances.

Gwadabe said that the improved inflows of Diaspora remittances into the economy in spite of falling oil prices would fast-track rates convergence and unification.

NAN reports that the CBN remained resolute in its efforts to boost liquidity at the interbank market and the BDC sector of the foreign exchange market.

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