Dollar scarcity resurfaces as CBN plans measures to sustain liquidity

by | December 20, 2017 5:58 pm



Dollar scarcity is beginning to resurface as the exchange rate on Tuesday fell to N364/$ from between N361 and N362/$ it has traded since August 2017 at the retail Bureau De Change segment of the foreign exchange market.

Also at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window, naira depreciated N361.25k per dollar on Tuesday as against N360/$ it has traded about five months ago.

This is in spite of the twice-weekly allocation of dollar amounting to $40,000 per BDCs by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Aminu Gwadabe, president, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) attributed the sudden depreciation of the naira was as a result of election campaign, festive period/end of the year rush, school fees, among others.

The CBN has instructed the BDCs to access dollar supply from the proceeds from the International Money Transfers Operators (IMTOs) on December 28 and January 1, 2018 to ensure liquidity in the market.

Gwadabe does not see this as a panic situation but believes it is a temporary event. “adjustment in rates is natural phenomena”, he said.

However, the local currency remained stable at the inter-bank spot foreign exchange market, closing at the rate of N306.20k per dollar, data from FMDQ has revealed.

Gwadabe wants the CBN to merge the rates at which banks and BDCs buy dollar from CBN saying it is pushing BDC operators out of the market as banks rates are lower. He said banks buy at the rate of N358/$ while BDCs purchase at N360/$.

The CBN on December 12, 2017, intervened in the interbank window of Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange market with the sum of $210 million to enhance liquidity.

The Bank offered the sum of $100million to the wholesale segment, while the SMEs and invisibles segments each received the sum of $55 million.

Isaac Okorafor, acting director, corporate communications at the CBN, said the interventions were meant to boost liquidity, trade and ease of remittances for legitimate personal commitments.

He said the interventions had largely checked unwholesome activities of currency speculators, adding that the CBN would not relent in its daily monitoring of activities in the market in order to ensure that all concerned operate in line with extant rules.

 

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE