CBN announces a new forex regime


The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced a market-driven forex regime aimed at boosting the supply of foreign currency in the country.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele. The new policy would take effect as from June 20.

“We now believe that the time is right to restore the automatic adjustment mechanisms of foreign exchange rate with the reintroduction of the flexible interbank exchange rate market,” said Emefiele, in a statement.

“The market shall operate as a single market structure through the interbank and autonomous window,” he said, adding: “The foreign exchange rate will be purely market driven.”

He noted that foreign exchange futures market would be opened to ease demand on spot trading, reduce volatility and give businesses more certainty. He said the interbank trading window would aid economic growth and help restore investor confidence.

The CBN governor explained that the actual guidelines will be made public later on Wednesday, adding that the regime would have between eight and ten primary traders handling “minimum volumes of $10 million.”

The new move is backed by President Muhammadu Buhari who said on Twitter that the “greater flexibility” in forex policy, is “a down payment on our people’s ability to succeed”.

The President is keen on weaning Nigeria’s economy off its dependency on oil, which normally accounts for 70 percent of government revenue, as well as imports.

But with an imminent recession and crude production hit by militancy in the Niger delta, he faces a challenge to set the economy on a path of growth.

The CBN has pegged the naira at 199 to the US dollar since March last year but has come under pressure to devalue the currency further. Black market rates have seen the naira slump to as low as 365 to the dollar this week.

Emefiele, however, said the government would prevent the forex market from being controlled by speculators, harping on the need for dealers to be professional in their dealings.

“The CBN will not allow the system to be undermined by speculators and rent-seekers,” he said. He added that “any attempt to breach any aspect of this new framework will be heavily sanctioned by the CBN and this may indeed result in the suspension or withdrawal of the FX dealing license of an offending Authorized dealer.”

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  • Kachixl

    That’s nice, this shows that the president has a listing ear. I posted on APC twitter handle about this FOREX thing, and this is now put into action. I pray it helps our economy.

    • Information Analyst

      That’s tell you.. we have leadership that wish to listen from the common man.. not just from the corrupt advisers or cabals or legislative.. I believed God want to use buhari to deliver Nigerian from the hands of selfish looters.. may buhari have a long life to better Nigeria for us.. Amen

      • abodes_124

        Slight change in tune from when wailers were being castigated for advising GMB to allow the Naira to float.
        It is good to know that wailers are now ‘the common man’

    • abodes_124

      ‘we cannot devalue the Naira’ – Sai Baba !
      ‘we must devalue the Naira’ – Sai Baba!
      There are times when it is better to be silent.

  • Tayo Patriot

    Let us pray that the new policy will impact positively on our economy.