Nigeria’s apex bank, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has further devalued the local currency (Naira) bowing to demand pressure.
Bloomberg reported at the weekend that the CBN raised the rate at the Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) – a window where importers access foreign currencies – from N360/$1 to N380/$1 with an instruction to bidders to comply accordingly.
The directive came less than two weeks after CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele hinted that the apex bank was moving towards ending the multiple-rate regime.
As at press time, it was not clear whether the latest adjustment would mark the commencement of the planned rate harmonisation. Efforts to confirm this and the validity of the directive, which is yet to be officially announced, failed as the CBN spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, did not pick his call or reply to text messages.
But one of the CBN Governor’s advisers, who didn’t want to be named, told The Guardian: “It is not true that we came under pressure or that it was a condition by the two institutions, though they have been wanting us to unify our exchange rate regimes.
“Remember that in 2017, we needed a loan from them. They insisted and we told them no and we went for Euro bond. We could still have gone elsewhere if we were not desirous of adjusting our rate, which is our core strategic action undertaken from time to time, depending on the economic realities.
“So, we did it at this time and it just merely coincided with the time we are seeking assistance from them. Please, ignore such insinuations. The adjustment here had nothing to do with IMF. After all, IMF has already released its own funds to us. So, it has nothing to do with either the IMF or the World Bank or their assistance.”