The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday added the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to its official forex window.
The move, according to CBN is to improve foreign exchange availability in the market and reduce challenges encountered by critical stakeholders, including in the payment of port charges to the related authorities.
The Guardian learnt that it would further liberalise the market that would allow some transactions that earlier sourced foreign exchange autonomously to regain access to the official window.
Besides, it is also a sign of improved foreign exchange inflow and reserves. A circular by the Director of Trade and Exchange Department, Wuritka Dauda Gotring communicated the payments, which are now accommodated by the apex bank, using Form ‘A’.
He directed authorised dealers (banks) to accept the request for the payments of port charges from oil marketing companies and forward them to the CBN foreign exchange window.
Meanwhile, after one week break in dollar auctions by the apex bank, it returned yesterday with $364 million in a bid to sustain liquidity in the market and defend the arallel market rate that was trending above N368 per dollar.
The latest intervention is coming barely 10 days after CBN data showed that it had grown the country’s reserves above $31 billion mark.
A breakdown of yesterday’s forex intervention indicated that the Retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) received the largest allocation of $264,.2 million.
The CBN also offered the sum of $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale window, while results of the requests by banks’ customers would soon be released.
According to sources from the bank, the commitment to achieving a convergence of rates at the inter-bank and Bureau-de-Change segments of the market remain unwavering.
The CBN had last week intervened in the Wholesale, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles windows to the tune of $195 million.