The Naira yesterday lost almost half of its value in the official market as the exchange rate in the Investors and Exporters, I&E window rose to N664.04 per dollar from N471.67 per dollar on Wednesday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN announced measures to liberalise the market including the elimination of multiple exchange rates, and freedom for banks to buy and sell foreign exchange at any rate based on a willing buyer and willing seller arrangement.
Announcing the new measures in a statement titled, “Operational Changes to the Foreign Exchange Market”, Director, Financial Markets, Dr. Angela Sere-Ejembi, said: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to inform all authorized dealers and the general public of the following immediate changes to operations in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange (FX) Market:
“Abolishment of segmentation. All segments are now collapsed into the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window. Applications for medicals, school fees, BTA/PTA, and SMEs would continue to be processed through deposit money banks.
“Re-introduction of the “Willing Buyer, Willing Seller” model at the I&E Window. Operations in this window shall be guided by the extant circular on the establishment of the window, dated 21 April 2017 and referenced FMD/DIR/CIR/GEN/08/007. All eligible transactions are permitted to access foreign exchange at this window.
“The operational rate for all government-related transactions shall be the weighted average rate of the preceding day’s executed transactions at the I&E window, calculated to two (2) decimal places.
“Proscription of trading limits on oversold FX positions with permission to hedge short positions with Over-The Counter-futures. Limits on overbought positions shall be zero.
“Re-introduction of order-based two-way quotes, with bid-ask spread of N1. All transactions shall be cleared by a Central Counter Party (CCP).
“Reintroduction of Order Book to ensure transparency of orders and seamless execution of trades. The operational hours of trades shall be from 9am to 4pm, Nigeria time”