CBN sells dollars to fuel importers, airlines

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele has cut lending rate to 12.5%
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor

Nigeria’s central bank said on Tuesday it will offer dollar forwards to be delivered within two months to offset a backlog of matured foreign exchange obligations to manufacturers, airlines, fuel importers and agriculture businesses.

“Authorised dealers’ accounts with the central bank will be debited in full for the naira equivalent of the dollar bid amount on a spot basis,” the bank said in a notice to commercial lenders.

“The central bank will settle the bids through forward settlements of two months,” added the bank, which did not specify the amount of dollars to be sold.

The bank had on Monday offered $150 million wholesale forwards to banks and said it also released $90 million for invisible transactions to ensure liquidity in the forex market.

The bank has been selling dollars on the official market in an attempt to narrow the spread with the black market exchange rate of the naira.

The naira currency was quoted at 390 to the dollar on the black market on Tuesday, against 395 a dollar on Monday.

The naira closed at 306.25 to the dollar on Tuesday, compared with 306.30 the previous day.

Meanwhile, the CBN has warned banks against hoarding the dollars.

A statement of the apex bank’s website said that customers seeking to buy forex for BTA, PTA, medical and school fees were frustrated by
some banks with the false claim that the CBN is not allocating enough forex to them for BTA, PTA, Tuition and Medical fees.

“This claim is totally untrue,” the CBN has said.

It added that “All banks have more than enough stock of forex in their possession for the purpose of meeting genuine customers’ demand for BTA, PTA, tuition and medical fees. Indeed, on a weekly basis, the CBN has been selling at least $80m to banks for onward sale to their customers for these invisible items.

“Members of the public seeking to buy forex for the above – mentioned purposes are, therefore, advised to go to their banks and obtain their forex.

“Any customer who is not attended to within 24 hours for BTA/PTA or 48 hours for tuition and medical fees should call 07002255226 or send an email to [email protected], with the name and branch of the non-cooperating bank.

“Furthermore, no customer should accept to buy forex from any bank at more than the CURRENTLY prescribed rate of N360/$1”.