The naira yesterday firmed to a record high of N370 to the dollar since February 20, when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began its intervention in the foreign exchange market.
The CBN has been intervening on the official market to try to narrow the spread between the official interbank and black markets. It has sold over $4 billion since February, improving dollar supply and providing support for the naira.
Naira has since then gained N150, indicating 28.85 percent appreciation compared with N520 per dollar quoted in January at the unregulated parallel market.
Investigation at various markets operated by black market dealers showed that naira traded at the rate of N370 at both Festac and Apapa areas of Lagos, while it was quoted at N372/$ at the Lagos International Airport.
At the investors and exporters window, it gained marginally by N0.28k as it closed at N380.22k per dollar on Thursday from N380.50k per dollar, data from the FMDQ show.
However, the local currency depreciated slightly at the inter-bank spot foreign exchange losing N0.05k to close at N305.45k per dollar on Thursday, according to data from the FMDQ website.
External reserves again declined to $30.33 billion as of May 31, 2017, data from the central bank revealed. The apex bank is pleased with the convergence of forex rates, and plans to sustain forex sales.
According to CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, $1.1 billion of forex has been sold at the investor and exporters’ forex window, of which less than 30 percent was due to the central bank.
The CBN will not determine where foreign exchange rates converge, however its preference would be “significantly southward” said Emefiele.