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Naira Makes a Strong Comeback as CBN Clears Forex Debt Backlog

November 2, 2023








The naira has risen to N1,120 against the dollar as the foreign exchange market reacted to news that the Central Bank of Nigeria has begun to clear some of its FX backlog on Thursday.

This represents an appreciation of N50 or 4.27 per cent compared to the N1,170 it traded for on Wednesday.

Currency traders, also known as Bureaux De Change operators, who spoke to The PUNCH said the naira was recovering well after making a quick recovery from N1,170/dollar in the morning to close trading at N1,120/dollar.

A trader who gave his name as Awolu said, “The dollar today is N1,040 if I want to sell. I buy at N1,030. The rate has dropped. This morning it was N1,170. It is still falling; it doesn’t have a bus stop yet.”

Another trader, Kadri, said, “Dollar is N1,120. In the morning, it was N1,150.”
Abubakar confirmed, “Dollar has been coming down today. It is N1,120 now. It was N1,150 before. It is still dropping.”

Muhammad added, “Dollar is N1,125 for sale. In the morning, it was N1,150.”

The President of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, affirmed to The PUNCH that the dollar closed trading at N1,120/dollar on Thursday.
He attributed this to the CBN’s move to clear some of its backlog.

He said, “It is closing at N1,120. Even yesterday it came down to N1,150. Today, it started at N1,170 but it is closing at N1,120. Yes, this is because of the CBN’s move to clear its backlogs. There is a kind signal in the market. The CBN should continue to make clarifications.”

Meanwhile, the naira appreciated by 0.76 per cent at the official market to close at N793.28 to the dollar on Thursday from N799.32/$ on Wednesday according to details on FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.

Data from the platform which oversees official foreign exchange trading in Nigeria revealed that the highest price recorded within the day’s trading was N1,018.60/$, and lowest price was N730.00/$.

On Thursday, news broke that the apex bank had begun to clear some of its foreign exchange backlogs. Sources close to the matter confirmed that the apex bank had settled some of its FX obligations with certain banks such as Citibank, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered, among others.

Recently, the Federal Government announced it was expecting $10bn to clear forex backlogs and stabilise the naira. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, disclosed this at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit.

He said, “In addition, from the supply of foreign exchange through NNPC, increased production, reduced expenditure, from transactions such as forward sales, from our discussions with sovereign wealth funds, which are ready to invest and provide advanced alongside that investment, there is a line of sight of $10bn worth of foreign exchange in the relatively near future in weeks rather months.”



Credit: Punch

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