Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday carried out a wholesale intervention in the interbank foreign exchange market with the release of $370.8m to 23 Deposit Money Banks.
The amount, which was confirmed in a statement by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Isaac Okoroafor, was to meet the requests of customers.
Okoroafor said the move was sequel to the apex bank’s promise to ease the difficulties encountered by Nigerians in obtaining funds for foreign exchange transactions.
He stated that while seven banks received full allotments of their respective bids ranging from $315 to $360 valued at $37.5m each, other received allotments ranging from $46,512.50 to $15,578,081.51.
Okorafor said the CBN’s intermediation in the forex market was the first wholesale intervention aimed at easing the pressure of access to forex on Nigerians who intend to meet obligations that fall under visible and invisible needs categories.
He further explained that the CBN offered $500m for sale to the banks, but not all of them provided enough naira backing to pay fully for their respective bid amounts.
While expressing optimism that the wholesale intervention would substantially ease the foreign exchange pressure on visible and invisible needs of customers, Okorafor gave an assurance that the CBN would continue to make interventions based on qualified bids from the banks on the requests of their customers.
He reiterated that the CBN was more than ever ready to support the inter-bank market by ensuring liquidity and transparency to guarantee efficiency in the forex market.
Okorafor urged all market participants to contribute their patriotic quota and assist in ensuring that the new measures put in place by the CBN guaranteed the stability of the financial market as well as the growth and development of the economy to the benefit of all Nigerians.
The CBN had on Monday modified its foreign exchange policy with the reduction of the tenor of its forward sales from the current maximum cycle of 180 days to 60 days from the date of transaction.
It said the decision was part of efforts to further increase the availability of foreign exchange to all end-users.
In a bid to ease the burden of travellers and ensure that transactions are settled at much more competitive exchange rates, the CBN directed all the banks to open forex retail outlets at major airports as soon as logistics would permit.
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