Nigeria’s Bureau De Change (BDC), operators, are set to introduce an online exchange rate platform and have also fixed the Naira to Dollar reference rate at 399.
The BDC Acting President, Mr Aminu Gwadabe, explained that the platform would help reduce the gap between the official inter-bank rate and parallel market rates, as well as eliminate multiple exchange rates in the country.
This was revealed at a press conference in Lagos, where Mr Gwadabe confirmed plans by licensed fx retailers to launch the online platform for thousands of its members starting from the end of January.
The Nigerian currency is expected to trade around 350 Naira to the dollar in the coming days as uncertainty over the implementation of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s planned new flexible exchange rate policy persists.
A meeting between the CBN Governor and local currency traders over the policy has failed to yield desired results.
Dealers say the financial market dealers association initiated the meeting with Mr Godwin Emefiele to discuss the policy which seeks to abandon the naira’s 15-month peg to the dollar.
The CBN says it would issue the guidelines for the flexible exchange rate policy at the appropriate time.
The local currency retreated to 350 to the dollar on the parallel market on Thursday from 360 Naira to the dollar last week.
Nigeria’s Naira shed 0.55 per cent against the dollar on Monday after some customers who failed to meet the cut-off time to submit dollar demand to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sought the greenback from other sources, dealers said.
On Monday, the unit closed at 200.60 Naira to the dollar, weaker than Friday’s close of 199.50 Naira.
The Naira traded at 215 to the dollar at the parallel market, operated by Bureau de Change agents.
The Nigerian currency crashed through a psychologically important level of 200 Naira to the dollar this month in a rout triggered by weak oil prices and escalating tension over the postponement of a presidential election, prompting the CBN to scrap its bi-weekly forex auctions.
Dealers said some customers submitted their orders to the CBN after a 12:00 GMT cut-off time and were not allotted dollars, leaving them to source hard currency from lenders.
Addax sold $6 million on Monday while Royal Dutch Shell sold an undisclosed amount on the interbank, dealers said. Lenders also resold to their customers at a spread.
The CBN scrapped its bi-weekly currency auctions on Wednesday and a market body said it would sell dollars only at 198 Naira, a move that amounts to a de facto devaluation of the currency of Africa’s biggest economy.