May 20, 2024

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started fresh and direct sales of US dollars at N1,021 per dollar to Bureau De Change operators.

Nigeria’s apex bank disclosed this in a circular signed by its Director of Trade and Exchange Department Hassan Mahmud.

“We write to inform you of the sale of $10,000 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to BDCs at the rate of N1,021/$1. The BDCs are in turn to sell to eligible end users at a spread of NOT MORE THAN 1.5 percent above the purchase price,” the circular posted on its website read.

“ALL eligible BDCs are therefore directed to commence payment of the Naira deposit to the underlisted CBN Naira Deposit Account Numbers from today, Monday, April 22, 2024, and submit confirmation of payment, with other necessary documentations, for disbursement of FX at the respective CBN Branches.”

CBN’s move is coming as the naira is recording a slight depreciation against the dollar after weeks of gains.

In late March, the bank also sold $10,000 to each of the eligible Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country at the rate of N1,251/$1.

Like in the most recent sales, it warned BDCs against breaching terms of the dollar sales, vowing to sanction defaulters “including outright suspension from further participation in the sale”.

The fortunes of the naira have fallen sharply since President Bola Tinubu took over in May. Inflation figures have reached new highs and the cost of living hitting the rooftops.

Nigeria’s currency slid to about N1,900/$ some months ago at the parallel market. But in recent weeks, it has gained against the dollar.

The Nigerian authorities have also doubled down on their crackdown against cryptocurrency platform Binance and illegal BDCs.

On March 1, the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 BDCs over compliance failures.

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