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Currencies

CBN ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’ will engender Naira stability – ABCON

ABCON) has shown its full support to the recent ‘CBN Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’.

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ABCON disagrees with those calling for naira devaluation

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has shown its full support to the recent ‘CBN Naira 4 Dollar Scheme,’ noting that it is capable of ensuring a competitive diaspora remittance market space that would spur Naira stability.

This disclosure was made by the President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Alhaji Gwadabe’s reaction was sequel to the recent policy by CBN which instructed commercial banks and IMTOs to pay an incentive of N5 for every USD1 remitted by sender and collected by designated beneficiaries.

Reacting to the recent policy, Gwadabe opined that there was a need to break the monopoly of certain players in the remittances spaces by allowing other relevant stakeholders like BDCs. He cited examples of how Kenya, Ghana and a host of other African countries deepened their remittance space through a competitive market, and how it led to the stability of their domestic currencies.

In addition, Gwadabe cautioned against complacency, noting that more needed to be done for the policy to achieve its anticipated objective of shoring up the value of the Naira through liquidity boost.

Gwadabe said: “There is no doubt the incentive will be somehow attractive to the targeted beneficiaries of the remittances and therefore aimed to address concerns of one of the principal ally in the chain of remittances.

’This therefore suggests that it is a window, if well-articulated and includes all the principal allies in the remittances space, will help the Nigerian economy for the availability of FX liquidity,’’ he added.

What you should know

  • Nairametrics had earlier reported the introduction of CBN ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’ in a circular issued by the apex bank dated 5th of March, 2021.
  • The new policy is expected to create an easier, flexible, and more transparent system of remittance administration that will accelerate investment and growth in Nigeria.
  • The scheme became effective today and is expected to elapse by 8th of May, 2021.

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Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Currencies

Naira falls against US dollar as CBN extends Naira4dollar scheme indefinitely

The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar, closed at N411/$1 at the I&E Window.

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Thursday, 6th May 2021: The exchange rate between the naira and the US dollar, closed at N411/$1 at the Importers and Exporters window, where forex is traded officially.

Naira fell against the US dollar to close at N411 to a dollar on Thursday, 6th May 2021, representing a 50 kobo decline when compared to N410.5/$1 that was recorded on Wednesday, 5th May 2021.

Meanwhile, the naira maintained stability at the parallel market as it closed at N485/$1, while Nigeria’s external reserve plunged $28.94 million to close at $34.76 billion on Wednesday, 5th May 2021.

Also, the apex bank issued an indefinite extension to its Naira4dollar scheme for foreign remittances, which was introduced some months ago. This is aimed at sustaining the country’s foreign exchange market liquidity.

READ: Naira gains at NAFEX window as dollar supply improves by 305%

Trading at the official NAFEX window

The naira depreciated against the US dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Thursday to close at N411/$1, representing a 50 kobo decline when compared to the N410.5/$1 that was recorded on Wednesday.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N410.37 to a dollar on Thursday, 6th May 2021, representing a 12 kobo depreciation when compared to the N410.25/$1 recorded on Wednesday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N420.9 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it settled at N411/$1. It, however, sold for as low as N400/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window declined by 38.4% on Thursday, 6th May 2021.
  • A cursory look at the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ showed that forex turnover decreased from $172.52 million recorded on Wednesday, 5th May 2021 to $106.34 million on Thursday, 6th May 2021.

READ: Exchange rate depreciates at NAFEX window as Bitcoin slumps by over 5%

Cryptocurrency watch

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, slumped by 2% on Thursday to trade at $56,358.03.

  • As of 11:31 pm on Thursday, the highly valued cryptocurrency asset witnessed a decline despite soaring as high as 5.5% on Wednesday.
  • However, Ethereum recorded a marginal growth of 0.07% to close at $3,530.75, capitalising on the 9.1% gain recorded in the previous day.
  • The total crypto market capitalisation depreciated by 0.53% to close at $2.33 trillion on Thursday.
  • Meanwhile, payments giant, Visa and financial services provider TALA have partnered to boost cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets.
  • This partnership is aimed at easing the process of converting, storing and using cryptocurrencies by the underbanked consumers.

READ: Naira depreciates as dollar sales top $100m a day at I&E window

Crude oil price stalls

Crude oil prices witnessed a bearish trading session on Thursday, 6th May 2021 as the oil price rally stalled due to the worsening covid-19 crisis in India.

  • Brent Crude dipped by 0.97% on Thursday to close at $68.29 compared to its closing price of $68.96 recorded at Wednesday’s trading session.
  • The decline in oil prices, which cut short the rally to $70 a barrel was due to a fresh record of new daily coronavirus cases reported by the third-largest importer of oil in the world.
  • Also, according to energy analytics firm OilX, China’s crude oil imports fell by 11% in April 2021 to stand at 10.41 million barrels per day.

External reserve

Nigeria’s external reserve plunged for the 12th consecutive day on Wednesday, 5th May 2021 as it dipped $28.91 million to close at $34.76 billion.

  • The nation’s foreign reserve declined from $34.79 billion recorded as of Tuesday, 4th May 2021 to $34.76 billion on Wednesday, representing a 0.28% decline.
  • Nigeria’s foreign reserve has dipped $497.36 million since 16th April 2021 to date.
  • Nigeria will hope to boosts its foreign reserve position as oil prices continue to rally high and the CBN intensified effort to encourage dollar remittances into the country.

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Currencies

How rise in oil prices will impact exchange rate

Oil prices are currently inching closer to $70 per barrel as the positive outlook of a return to global economic recovery swells investor sentiments.

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Crude oil prices rebound ease investors’ concerns for Nigeria debt market, How substantial is compliance for the Oil market?, Crude Oil price soars high on new COVID-19 vaccine

Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer and home to the second-largest reserves on the continent, is expected to benefit from the rise in oil prices in many ways.

Oil prices are currently inching closer to $70 per barrel as the positive outlook of a return to global economic recovery swells investor sentiments.

Historically, there has been a strong positive correlation between crude oil prices and the performance of the Nigerian economy. For example, when oil prices plummeted due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the implementation of lockdown protocols in 2020, the Nigerian government scaled down the budget to align better with the drop in crude oil price.

Now that there is a surge in oil price, we should expect that there would be an increase in government revenue translating to a stirring-up of aggregate demand.

READ: Nigeria records highest trade deficit since 1981

Why oil price is rising

The OPEC+ output restrains, despite the strong recovery of oil consumption, continues to give formidable fitting to bullish sentiments about soaring oil prices.

  • Oil prices are rising as optimism about a strong rebound in fuel demand in developed countries overshadows concerns of full lockdown to curb covid-19 in India.
  • Oil (BRENT) has seen a 34.3% increase Year to Date with the oil price at $69.34 showing an increase of +1.15% as of the time of writing this article.

What it means for the exchange rate

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the recent oil price rise is exchange rate stability. Since the crash in oil prices began in late 2019, Nigeria’s official currency has faced a barrage of sell pressure as local and foreign investors increase demand for the dollar.

This forced the central bank to curtain demand, implementing various forms of capital controls across the economy. With oil prices on the rise, Nigerians can begin to expect the following:

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  • An increase in government revenue, which also means higher dollar earnings and thus increased FX reserves. Nigeria’s FX reserve reportedly stands at $34.7 billion as of Tuesday, May 4th, 2021. Soaring oil prices strengthen the exchange rate and promote economic growth. This effect trickles down to higher reserves held by the CBN meant for stabilization of the currency.
  • Higher oil prices could also mean a more stable economy thus propelling economic growth. This, in turn, attracts foreign investor dollars or at least retains what we already have and reduces the pressure on demand.
  • Nigerians have intensified diversifying their currency holdings, keeping less of naira and holding more dollars as they hedge against depreciation. This has kept the pressure on the exchange rate over the last one and a half years. This trend could reverse if oil prices continue their steady rise.

READ: Dangote: Cement price from our factories is between N2,450 and N2,510 per bag, VAT inclusive

The implication? The parallel market exchange rate might appreciate closer to the NAFEX rate if this trend continues.

Hence, it is safe to presume that as the world resume business and travel activities, the demand for Black Gold will continue to increase, and with supply held steady by OPEC+ we can speculate that this is enough catalyst to relieve the pressure of FX demand and increase our foreign reserves thereby propelling growth.

However, the inclusivity of this growth may still be in question.

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