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CBN Sells FX To BDCs At N1,251/$1 As Naira Rebounds

As the naira gradually appreciates against the dollar after months of unprecendented uncertainties, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, announced the sales of $10,000 to each of the eligible Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country at the rate of N1,251/$1.

In a circular to the President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria on Monday, the apex bank said the BDCs are to sell to eligible end users at a spread of not more than 1.5% above the purchase price.

The circular was signed by the bank’s Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Hassan Mahmud.

The CBN warned that “any BDC that breaches the above terms shall be sanction appropriately, including outright suspension from further participation in the sale”.

Nigeria is battling rising inflation, food inflation, forex crisis, economic hardship and high cost of living occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, attracting protests in parts of the country as the purchasing power of the naira and disposable income of common Nigerians shrink in the face of the forex crisis and inflation.

The Nigerian naira has seen a dip in the last nine months since the President Bola Tinubu administration collapsed the foreign exchange window. Prices of commodities have skyrocketed to as high as double as the naira experienced an all-time low, falling from about N700/$1 last May to about N2,000/$1 last month, before its gradual appreciation in March.

The authorities have since turned their focus to cryptocurrency websites like Binance, accusing them of speculation, clamping down on them through telecommunication companies.

As a way to control the value of the wobbling naira, the apex bank had on March 1, 2024 revoked the licenses of 4,173 BDCs over compliance failures. The bank had in February raised minimum capital requirements for BDC operators in Nigeria to N2bn for Tier 1 license holders and N500m for Tier 2 license holders.

The CBN under the watch of new bank chief Olayemi Cardoso who assumed office last September, is expected to announce new fiscal and monetary policies to shape the country’s economy during the apex bank’s 294th meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

The MPC had in February raised the country’s interest rate from 18.75% to 22.75% to stem galloping inflation which stands at 31.7% as of February.

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