Naira Sustains Gains on Parallel Market as CBN Auctions $180m

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Obinna Chima
The naira sustained its momentum on the parallel market yesterday, where it appreciated by N5 to close at N444 to the dollar, stronger than the N449 to the dollar last Friday.

The gain was largely influenced by the increased dollar liquidity in the economy as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) continues its intervention in the interbank foreign exchange (FX) market.
The CBN yesterday offered $180 million to dealers in the interbank FX market.

A breakdown of this showed that the bank sold $100 million to meet bids for wholesale intervention forwards and another $80 million to meet requests for invisibles such as medicals, school fees and personal travel allowances.

Confirming the figures, the acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said the wholesale requests would be settled today (Tuesday), adding that the closing interbank rate for Monday, March 20, 2017, was N307.5/$1.
With the development, it was expected that the naira would further strengthen in the foreign exchange market in the days to come.

While disclosing that the bank had so far met all the legitimate demands from genuine customers, Okorafor reiterated that the CBN would ensure sustainable FX liquidity and transparency in the process to enable as many customers as possible get access to the foreign exchange they genuinely demand.

He therefore advised eligible individuals with genuine foreign currency needs to freely approach their banks and authorised dealers with their request, stressing that the CBN had made adequate provisions of foreign currency for all such legitimate purposes.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said the central bank was acting in the best interests of ordinary Nigerians, regardless of the noise from the few entrenched interests whom the bank’s policies may be hurting.

He added: “Let me also reiterate the central bank’s willingness, determination, and capacity to continue to meet all legitimate transaction-based FX demands in the market. I obviously cannot be of help to people or businesses who are into speculative FX demand. My promise instead to this group, whether foreign or local, is that the CBN will make sure they lose money!”

Emefiele therefore stressed the need for Nigerians, especially policy makers, to develop a sense of national consciousness in carrying out their duties.