CBN steps in as naira falls to 15-month low of 371/$1



The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stepped in to save the naira, as the local currency dropped on the parallel market to trade at 371 per dollar.

On Friday, traders at the several trading hubs in Lagos Nigeria, sold the dollar for N371, with expectations of further drop as the year comes to an end.

Ibrahim Baba, a BDC operator who spoke to TheCable, said traders at the Alade, Yaba, and Lagos Island, sold the dollar for as high as “N371 to the dollar”.

“It will go higher as Christmas draws nearer,” he added.

On Tuesday, the CBN intervened at the foreign exchange market, pumping $210 million into the system, to keep the naira stable and cut dollar demands and pressure on the naira.

Stepping in to hold and close the widening gap between the official and the parallel market rates of the naira, the CBN said it would increase its auction days to four per week, from December 6, 2018.

“With the approach of the yuletide season and the resultant increase in the demand for personal/business travel allowance, the CBN has in addition to the existing market days(Monday, Wednesday and Friday) introduced a special intervention every Thursday for $15,000 per BDC (bureau de change),” the bank said in a statement.

The official CBN rates over-the-counter also fell to N306.80 to the greenback, while other currencies also appreciated against the naira.

The British pound and European official currency, Euro, sold for N472 and N415 respectively.

The foreign reserves have maintained a steady rise over the week, standing at $42 billion on Friday, even as oil prices fall across the global market.


TheCable