Naira Still Above N1,500/$1 Amid Forex Market Reforms By CBN

In a bid to stabilize Nigeria’s fluctuating forex market, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has implemented sweeping reforms, sparking both optimism and volatility.

The Nigerian naira surged to an intraday high of N1,582 against the US dollar on Wednesday, a development hailed by some as a positive step towards economic stability.

“We’re seeing encouraging signs of progress,” remarked financial analyst Aisha Ibrahim. “The CBN’s measures are starting to bear fruit.”

However, this uptick in the naira’s value was coupled with a significant drop in forex turnover, plummeting by 56.58% to $117.87 million. The decline underscores ongoing challenges in the forex market, despite the CBN’s efforts to boost liquidity.

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Speaking on the reforms, CBN Governor, Adamu Suleiman, emphasized the need for a market-driven exchange rate mechanism. “Our goal is to foster transparency and flexibility,” Suleiman stated. “We want a forex market that operates on a ‘Willing Buyer and Willing Seller’ basis, driven by market forces.”

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The circular issued by the CBN signals a shift towards a more liberalized forex regime, removing caps on international money transfers and discontinuing restrictions on interbank transactions. “We’re paving the way for a free float of the Naira,” Suleiman added.

Despite these reforms, challenges persist, with the naira experiencing marginal depreciation at both official and black-market exchange rates. At the close of business, the naira settled at N1503 to a dollar, marking a 0.26% decrease.

Market watchers remain cautiously optimistic about the future of Nigeria’s forex market. “These reforms are a step in the right direction,” remarked economist Bolaji Adekunle. “But sustained progress will require continued vigilance and adaptation.”

As Nigeria navigates its forex market overhaul, stakeholders are hopeful that these reforms will lead to greater stability and growth in the nation’s economy.

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