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Naira maintains stability at N460 as CBN reschedules MPC

The Nigerian currency on Friday maintained stability for the third day, trading at N460 per dollar on the black market.

This is coming as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has informed its stakeholders and the general public that the May 2020 meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) earlier scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, May 25 and 26, 2020, respectively, will now hold on Thursday, May 28, 2020. This is as a result of the declaration of Monday and Tuesday, May 25 and 26, 2020, as Eid-el Fitr holidays.

A statement signed by Isaac Okorafor, director, corporate communications department, said the CBN has put in place all necessary machinery for the meeting to now hold for only one day on account of the on-going COVID-19 national lockdown and to align this meeting with extant rules of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and advisories from other relevant agencies.

Investigation shows that dollar is available on the black market. Aminu Gwadabe, president Association of Bureau De change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) attributed the demand in the black market to the handiwork of speculators, hoarders, importers and foreign portfolio investors.

There is huge dollar demand from the pharmaceutical sub sector and home use products and equipment, he said.

Gwadabe said the rising inflation is encouraging conversion of local assets to foreign currencies by members of the public.

According to him there is the need for government to create ventures capital company to support establishments of pharmaceutical companies, and necessity goods to ensure falling prices in exchange rate and general price of goods and services.

“We should urgently review our palliative models from cash Grant’s to Venture capital support partnership. The CBN is having enough buffer and therefore no need for panic buying,” he said.

Foreign currency speculators will in the coming months face over N10 billion losses as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ABCON finalize plans to resume dollar sales to Bureaux De Change (BDCs). With over 5,000 BDCs spread across the country receiving weekly allocations for sale to the retail end of the market, and rising accretion to the foreign reserves to over $37 billion, the naira’s future looks bright. ABCON has one warning for forex speculators: “retreat your steps or get ready to lose your life savings and businesses as the CBN has the financial muscles to sustain dollar interventions to businesses, economy to keep the naira stable in line with its exchange rate stability mandate”.

At the retail Bureau, Naira was unchanged as the dollar was sold at N462 on Friday from the same rate as on Wednesday.

The foreign exchange market opened on Thursday morning with an indicative rate of N387.61k per dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window.

This represents N0.36k gain over N387.25k opened with on Thursday, data from FMDQ revealed.

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