Naira stays firm against Dollar, strengthens against Pound as CBN rejects US call to float currency

Naira stays firm against Dollar, strengthens against Pound as CBN rejects US call to float currency

– Naira makes gain against Pound but stays unchanged against the Dollar at parallel market

– The new rates come hours after CBN sold $20,000 to BDCs for onward sale to small-end users

– The apex bank says it declined calls from financial institutions in Washington urging it to float the Naira

The Nigerian Naira on Friday, April 21, stayed firm against the American Dollar to close the day at N385/$1 at the parallel market as it was yesterday, April 20.

However, the local currency gained N5 against against the Pound sterling to close at N490 from the previous rate of N495 but maintained the same rate of N410 against the Euro.

This new rates come few hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $20,000 to Bureau De Change (BDCs) for onward sale to small-end users.

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Dollar to Naira

Dollar to Naira

The apex bank also disclosed that it declined calls from financial institutions in Washington urging it to float the Naira.

CBN Spokesman Isaac Okoroafor, speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the World Bank/IMF meetings said the call to float the naira was laughable.

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He said: “The call here in Washington that we should float the naira, liberalise the market; our market is extensively liberalised and the call to float the naira is a bit laughable in our case.

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“Yesterday, when Madame Lagarde was discussing the economy of Egypt, she lamented herself, the devastating inflation that is in that country.

“Egypt has half of our population, Egypt receives about 12 billion in foreign earnings and several billions in tourism. We are 180 million people, our infrastructure is so poor and the productive capacity cannot be fast enough to rise to benefit from massive depreciation.”

He added: “If you float the naira today, and given the discoveries by security agencies, you’ll discover that our case will be terrible. If Egypt today has an inflation rate of almost 31 percent, remember Angola also has about 36 percent inflation, ours is at 17.26.

“If we float the naira and we allow speculators and those with corruption money and all the people who create the bubbles to launch into the market, you can yourself imagine the kind of situation we will find ourselves

“Yes, we would go all out to practise economic theory the way they say you should allow your currency to float, but of course, you should also know that no country floats its currency; just leaving it to the dictates of the market.

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“Our economies has its own peculiarities, and we cannot kill our people in the name of floating the naira.” recalls that the CBN had injected $280 million into the Foreign Exchange Market on Tuesday, April 18, and on Wednesday, April 19.

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The apex bank carried out spot, wholesale interventions in the interbank FOREX market by offering a total sum of $100m to authorized dealers to meet the 7 to 15-day forwards requests of customers.

Watch traders talk about what has changed in the market since President Muhammadu Buhari’s return from London.

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