By Obinna Chima
Players in the retail segment of the Nigerian inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market received a $254.3m boost from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday, following bids received from forex dealers by the apex bank.
According to a report, the deals in the retail window represented requests from the various sectors in the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS), thereby providing a boost to the respective sectors.
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, while confirming the forex sales, explained that the sale was in response to bids received from authorised dealers, on behalf of their customers, at the retail auction announced by the CBN on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
He disclosed that the $254.3m sold was for companies in the raw materials, agricultural, airline and petroleum industry.
Okorafor reiterated that the Bankâ€™s continued intervention was aimed at strengthening the international value of the naira, while ensuring accessibility to the greenback by customers who required it for genuine purposes.
The Bank had at its last intervention in the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) on June 23, 2017, injected a total of $240 million for spot and forward deals, just as it intervened with $390 million in the wholesale, SMEs and invisibles segments of the market on June 28 and July 3, 2017.
Speaking further, Okorafor said the CBN remained very committed to ensuring that all the sectors continue to enjoy access to the foreign exchange required for their business concerns.
Meanwhile, the naira exchanged at an average of N364/$1 in the Bureau de Change segment (BDCs) across major trading points in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Kano.
In order to ameliorate the challenges in returning naira to banks for unutilised foreign exchange (FX), the CBN recently released the rule for addressing the situation.
The CBN said it took the decision following incessant complaints from Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) over the delay in getting naira value for unutilised portions of FX repatriated to the CBN.