The Nigerian naira firmed around 6.5% on the black market on Tuesday from a week ago after the central bank resumed U.S. dollar sales to commercial lenders following this week’s gradual easing of the coronavirus lockdown, traders said.

The currency rose to 430 per dollar on the unofficial market patronised mostly by individuals with dollar expenses abroad. The currency had hit 460 last week, its weakest in three years as dollar shortages gripped the market.

READ: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Resumes Dollar Sales For SMEs, School Fees

The central bank said it would sell $100 million per week to help individuals meet foreign school fees obligations and small businesses wishing to make essential imports needed to revamp economic activities.

Dollar demand has been swelling and piling up pressure on the naira. Importers with past due obligations have been scrambling for hard currency while providers of foreign exchange such as offshore investors have exited.

The naira had been hitting new lows on the black and over-the-counter spot markets since March after the central bank adjusted its official rate, implying a 15