CBN Injects Fresh $210m Into Forex Market

In continuation of its intervention in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wednesday made available another $210 million in the market to meet the requests of customers.

A breakdown of the figures made available by the Bank indicated that the CBN offered the sum of $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, just as it allocated the sum of $55 million each to the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) segment and the invisibles segment to meet needs tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others.

Confirming the intervention, a statement quoted the CBN Acting Director in charge of the Corporate Communications Department (CCD), Isaac Okorafor, said the continued intervention by the Bank was in line with the Governor’s commitment to ensure liquidity in the market as well as reduce pressure on the naira.

Okorafor said the CBN was pleased with the current market situation brought about by policies it had put in place to check forex speculatiors, round trippers and rent-seekers.

According to him, these policies had helped to stabilise the exchange rate in addition to the establishment of the Investors-Exporters window, which had increased fx supply with over $20 billion inflow since its inception.

According to him, the Bank would not relent in its effort to manage the country’s forex with a view to reducing its import bills and checking any haemorhage of its foreign reserves.

The CBN, in its last intervention last Tuesday had intervened to the tune of $210 million to cater for requests in the various segments of the forex market.

Meanwhile, the naira continued its stability on the forex market, exchanging at an average of N360/$1 in the BDC segment yesterday.

Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Hit $47 Billion

Nigeria’s foreign reserves have continued to grow significantly with latest figures by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at about $47.37 billion as at April 5.

The new figures rose from about $46.2 billion realised at the end of March.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the new balance in the reserves on Monday at the opening of the 25th seminar for Business Editors and financial Correspondents in Uyo.

Mr Emefiele, who was represented by the newly appointed deputy governor, Corporate Services, Edward Adamu, said the CBN hopes to meet the $50 billion target before the end of the year.

Nigeria’s latest foreign reserves is about $4 billion more than that of South Africa.

South Africa’s net foreign reserves rose to $43.384 billion in March from $43.272 billion in February, the Reserve Bank said on Monday.

Gross reserves fell to $49.979 billion from 50.051 billion dollars, the South African central bank data showed.

The forward position, which represents the central bank’s unsettled or swap transactions, fell to $1.996 billion from $2.057 billion.

“The decrease of 72 million dollars in the gross reserves reflects the foreign exchange payments made on behalf of the government.

“It was partially offset by the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against most currencies,” the South African central bank said.

CBN Assign New Directors

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has assigned duties to the newly appointed Deputy Governors who assumed duty on March 28.

The acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, CBN, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, in a statement on Sunday said Mrs Aishah Ahmad was deployed to the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate, while Mr Edward Lemetek Adamu was assigned to Corporate Services.

Emefiele also approved the deployment of Dr Okwu Nnanna from the Financial System Stability (FSS) Directorate to the Economic Policy Directorate.

“Mr Adebayo Adelabu, however, retains his portfolio as Deputy Governor, Operations Directorate,” Okoroafor said.

According to Okoroafor, the affected principal officers have since assumed duty in their new duties.

CBN Retains Monetary Policy Rate At 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday left the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

He explained that nine members of the committee unanimously agreed to maintain the current monetary policy stance.

He said apart from the MPR which was retained at 14 per cent, the committee also retained the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

BREAKING: CBN Maintains Monetary Policy Rate At 14%   

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday left the Monetary Policy Rate untouched at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made known the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

He stated that nine members of the committee unanimously agreed to maintain the current monetary policy stance.

He said apart from the MPR which was retained at 14 per cent, the committee also retained the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

Also retained are the Liquidity Ratio which was left at 30 per cent; and the Asymmetric Window which was left at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.

CBN Boosts Foreign Exchange With $210m

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intervened in the inter-bank market of the foreign exchange to the tune of $210million.

Figures obtained from the bank on Tuesday indicate that the wholesale sector of the market got a boost of $100million, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and invisibles sectors were offered $55million each.

The apex bank said the interventions were in continuation of its commitment to maintaining stability in the market as well as enhance production and trade.

It also commended the cooperation by players in the inter-bank market, saying it had enjoyed a great deal of stability and seamless access of customers to foreign exchange following regular interventions by the CBN.

The financial regulator was optimistic that the first Monetary Policy meeting (MPC) billed for April would add a fillip to the monetary policy activities of the CBN.

It, therefore, urged Nigerians to remain hopeful about the economic outlook for 2018, stressing that the CBN remained people-centred.

The CBN had on Friday last week sustained its intervention in the forex market by injecting the sum of $339.89 million in the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

 

CBN Fixes April 3, 4 For MPC Meeting

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has fixed April 3 and 4, 2018 for the country’s first Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

The apex bank fixed the date following the concession made by the Senate to screen and confirm the nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari to fill the posts of deputy governors of the CBN and the four members-designate of the Monetary Policy Committee.

The MPC was unable to hold its first meeting last January because it could not form a quorum, due to the Senate’s refusal to confirm the nominees sent by the President to the National Assembly.

However, due to the importance of the MPC meetings to the economy, the Senate reconsidered its stance last week on the CBN nominees and gave its Committee on Banking and Financial Institutions one week to screen them.

We’re Not Discriminatory, CBN Tells Power Generating Firms

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday rebuffed allegations engaging in discriminatory practices among electricity generation companies in the nation’s power sector.

The apex bank said that investors in the sector were being treated in line with the contractual deal they signed with the federal Government.

The Assistant Director, Infrastructure Finance Office, CBN, Boma Benebo, revealed this to journalists during a monitoring visit to the Azura Power West Africa Limited in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of Edo State.

The reaction of the CBN came days after Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, Transcorp Power Limited, Egbin Power Plc and North-South Power Company Limited, sued the Federal Government for allegedly giving preferential treatment to Azura and Accugas Limited.

The Gencos also joined the two power companies, the CBN, Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as respondents.

But Benebo said, “Well, the truth of the matter is that every project is unique in itself. The way Azura came into the process is different from the way every other person came in. Azura is a fully wrapped IPC contract. Before it started, it made sure the necessary documentation was done, equity was put in place and agreements were put in place.

“And one of them is the partial risk guarantee, which was signed by the country. So, the terms of the contracts are different between Azura and the other players. So, there is not a question of preferential treatment; everybody is being treated according to the contracts they signed.

“That is our observation. The CBN is not part of any of these contracts; we never mediated in any of the contracts. So, I think the details of the contracts will best be explained by the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader. But to the best of our knowledge, every project is being treated according to the contract it has with the Federal Government and there is no preferential treatment.”

Benebo explained that the visit to Azura was aimed at ascertaining how well funds had been utilised in the construction of its 450 megawatts independent power project.

He noted that though the country had more power generation capacity, the Federal Government was doing its best to improve the weak distribution system.

He stated, “Our mission is to find out how well funds have been utilised in the construction of this particular project. As you are aware, this project is being financed from several sources and the naira component of the financing comes from the Power and Airline Intervention Fund of the central bank.

“As the project is being implemented, we come over from time to time to see how the funds invested in this project are being utilised. And we want to say that we are very happy that this project is moving ahead of the construction schedule. We are assured that it is going to be completed eight months before the originally planned inauguration date and that is good.”

External Reserves Reach $46bn, Reports CBN

The nation’s external reserves hit $46bn on Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria said this in a statement on Friday.

The CBN said the latest figures obtained on Friday shows that the reserve increased by about $3.2bn between February and March this year.

The reserves at the beginning of 2018 stood at $39.3bn, then rose to $42.8 in February before going up the new high of $46bn.

Confirming the figures, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, attributed the continued accretion to the country’s reserves to the bank’s effort at vigorously discouraging unnecessary importation and reducing the nation’s import bill; inflow from oil and non-oil exports, as well as the huge inflows through the investors and exporters window of the foreign exchange market, which he said had attracted over $33bn since April 2017, when it was created.

At the close of commodities trading on Friday, March 9, 2018, Brent Crude, sold at $65.49 a barrel up by 2.54 per cent.

According to him, the bank’s interventions in the foreign exchange window have also helped to moderate the pressure on the forex reserves by sustaining liquidity in the market and boosting production and trade.

Okorafor also noted that the CBN policy restricting access to forex from Nigeria’s foreign exchange market to importers of some 41 items had made a huge impact on the status of Nigeria’s reserves and boosted the supply of local substitutes for imported goods, created jobs at home and enhanced the incomes of farmers and local manufacturers.

The external reserves had hit $43.2bn on March 6, data on The CBN website showed.

The foreign exchange reserves had recorded a four-year high at $42.76bn on March 2, after commencing this year at $38.77bn.

The foreign exchange buffer of the CBN has continued to increase recently over steady increase in global oil prices and federal government Eurobond borrowing, among others.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had projected that the reserves might hit $60bn in 2019, if the trend persisted.

He said increases in the price and shipment of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign-currency earner, and improved investor confidence meant the CBN could build its reserves to $60bn over the next 12 to 18 months.

External Reserves Reaches $43.2bn, Reports CBN

The nation’s external reserves hit $43.2bn on March 6, 2018, data obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed this on Wednesday.

The foreign exchange reserves had recorded a four-year high at $42.76bn on March 2, after beginning  this year at $38.77bn.

The foreign reserves have profited about $3.99bn or 10.3 per cent this year.

The reserves had moved from $38.77bn in December 2017 to $40.69bn in January 2018.

The foreign exchange buffer of the CBN has continued to increase recently over steady increase in global oil prices and federal government Eurobond borrowing, among others.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had projected that the reserves might hit $60bn in 2019, if the trend persisted.

He said increases in the price and shipment of oil, Nigeria’s biggest foreign-currency earner, and improved investor confidence meant the CBN could build its reserves to $60bn over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Things are looking up. No one ever thought the price of crude would hit $70 in such a short period of time,” he said during an interview with Bloomberg.

The foreign exchange buffer added $12.9bn or nearly 50 per cent in 2017 despite the CBN weekly intervention.

The apex bank steady rise in the foreign reserve, from July 7 last year, could be attributable to improved foreign exchange inflow occasioned by increase in global oil price, dollar inflow from foreign portfolio investors facilitated by the Investors and Exporters foreign exchange window introduced by the CBN in April last year.

The price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 14 crudes had stood at $63.25 per barrel on Wednesday.

We’ll Stock Markets With Smaller Denominations Of Naira Says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria, in a process of tackling the acute shortage of lower denomination currencies, on Tuesday commenced an exercise aimed at flooding the market with N100, N50, N20, N10 and N5 notes.

The apex bank, however, warned against hoarding and cloning of the lower currency notes and also promised punishment on anyone caught in the act.

Speaking at a sensitisation programme at the Wuse Market in Abuja, the Director, Currency Operations, CBN, Mrs. Priscilla Eleje, said the apex bank was unhappy that lower denomination naira were scare in circulation.

She stated that the bank was mindful of the development and had decided to address the challenge, starting with traders.

She also warned those who were hoarding the lower denomination naira notes for the purpose of profiting from their resale to stop the idea as they risked prosecution when caught.

Eleje said, “We spend money to print money every year. But we don’t see the money in the market. So, we called the market unions and banks to a meeting in our office on how to resolve that. We are here to inform you that we have started giving money to you traders via your association and the banks.

“We will monitor the disbursements and spending. No more sales of lower denomination currencies at Dei Dei (a suburb in Abuja popular for the sale of new naira notes). The Police are on the lookout and will arrest and prosecute offenders. We will give the money to the association via the commercial banks.”

She added, “All you need to do is to take your higher denomination currencies to your association and exchange with lower denomination currency equivalents.

“It’s not like the money is free. It’s just an exchange and we want it to be available to you people to do your business with ease. So, please let us know if you can’t access it. We want to ensure you trade seamlessly.”

On counterfeiting of the naira, Eleje described it as a complete economic loss that the CBN was working with the security agencies to address.

She said, “Counterfeit money is an economic loss. Don’t collect it and don’t spend it. The loss is on you. That’s the law. However, we have machines with special in-built features to detect fake or counterfeited currencies. It’s a big crime and we are dealing with it.

“The banks have been directed to return the counterfeited currencies to us so that we study them to see the security features that are being counterfeited. So, we try to know which features are probably vulnerable and we improve on those going forward.

“We have reports of banks issuing counterfeit money. We are also monitoring banks issuing currencies that are mutilated. Report such banks to the CBN and you will get a redress.”