By Babajide Komolafe
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased weekly dollar sale to bureaux de change (BDCs) operators by 100 per cent to $40,000 per week per BDC effective from next week.
The apex bank also disclosed that demand for dollars by banks fell by 65 per cent during its last foreign exchange auction.
However the naira depreciated further in the parallel market yesterday as the parallel market exchange rate rose from N407 on Wednesday to N410 per dollar at the close of business yesterday due to increased demand for dollars.
Confirming the increased dollar sale to BDCs, President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) told Vanguard: “The CBN has increased dollar supply to each BDC. From next week, the CBN will sell $20,000 to each BDC twice every week.”
Confirming the decline in dollar demand by banks, Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor said that the banks were only able to pick $45 million out of the $100 million offered by the CBN on wholesale spot.
He said the major injections made by the Bank in the course of the week were aimed at providing access to all stakeholders with legitimate need for forex.
“The CBN remains upbeat that the forex market will remain liquid and that Nigerians who genuinely require the forex will get ample access to the currency,” Okorafor noted.
It will be recalled that the CBN made special interventions in the Bureau de Change Segment of the forex market and capped up an eventful period with the opening of a new window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These special interventions are in addition to over $500 million dollars offered to dealers in the wholesale and retail segments in the past week.
Okorafor had disclosed that the new window for SMEs provides small scale importers an avenue to source forex to boost their respective business through the importation of eligible finished and semi-finished items at not more than $20,000 per quarter per enterprise.