3 Aug 2015

Naira appreciates; ...now N208 to $1 as CBN moves against illicit financial flows

The Naira at the weekend appreciated against major currencies, especially the dollar, which exchanged for between N206 and N210 at the parallel market on Sunday.

The currency, which had lost up to 20 per cent of its value recently when a dollar exchanged for N245, responded to series of policies churned out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

As part of efforts to further strengthen the naira, the apex bank, at the weekend, vowed to move against illicit financial flows.

The CBN policies which have seen Naira firm up have, however, brought untold hardship on Nigerians on vacation abroad as they find it difficult to make withdrawals from their domiciliary accounts from outside the country.

In its plan to properly price the Naira, the apex bank had been tweaking its foreign exchange policies.

The tweaking saw the CBN excluding 41 items from having access to the forex window. The bank, also last week, compelled bureau de change operators to get the BVN of their customers.

The most recent of the policies is the resolve by commercial banks not to accept dollar deposit from domiciliary account holders, while also stopping them from making withdrawals from their accounts outside the bank premises.

This, in effect, means the cancellation of electronic transfer and ATM withdrawals for domiciliary account holders.

According to Mr Ladi Balogun, MD/CEO, First City Monument Bank, banks opted to reject dollar deposit “due to large speculation on the currency,” adding that it was part of efforts to save the Naira.

Credit: Nigerian Tribune

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