CBN releases $81.2m for dollar requests

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on Monday that it released $81.2 million for dollar requests in its continuing drive to improve liquidity.
In a statement, the bank said it provided $44 million to meet requests for expenses such as medical and school fees, and to cover travel allowances. It said a further $37.2 million was provided for small- and medium-sized enterprises.
The CBN has been intervening aggressively since February to narrow the spread between the official and black market rates and has sold more than $4 billion. In is believed that greater liquidity should lead rates to converge.
According to CBN spokesman, Mr. Isaac Okorafor in the statement, “The bank remains committed to ensuring that there is enough supply of forex to genuine customers to achieve the goal of forex rates convergence.”
Earlier traders, citing a memo from the central bank, said the regulator had planned to offer $100 million in forwards at an auction on Monday but did not disclose the settlement period.
They said the dollar auction would be both for spot and forward settlements and have to be backed by customer demand.
The Nigerian naira traded at around 400 to the dollar in deals for investors on Monday, traders said two weeks after the CBN allowed investor trade in the currency at market-determined rates.
The naira was quoted at 381.11 per dollar for investors on Monday, data from market regulator FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange showed.
FMDQ provides daily opening and closing quotes on the naira. The official market rate was 305.20 on Monday and the black market rate 391.

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