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Currencies

Banks automatically create domiciliary accounts for Naira4Dollar recipients

The Naira4Dollar Scheme does not require banks to seek your permission to open a domiciliary account.

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Commercial banks in Nigeria are automatically opening domiciliary bank accounts for Beneficiaries of diaspora remittances in Nigeria under the CBN’s Naira4Dollar scheme, Nairametrics authoritatively confirms.

The central bank introduced the scheme earlier in the month, offering N5 for every dollar remitted through any commercial bank or its partner receiving banks in Nigeria. The scheme took effect on Monday, March 8, 2021, and will end on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

According to the CBN, the scheme is “an effort to sustain the encouraging increase in inflows of diaspora remittances into the country”, a major source of forex liquidity for the apex bank.

The scheme is aimed at improving Nigeria’s remittance inflows which Nairametrics currently estimates to be about $1.1 billion citing CBN data as its source.

READ: CBN “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme” Explained

How it works

As part of our Financial advocacy initiative, Nairametrics Research conducted an investigation to determine the efficacy of the scheme and to find out whether commercial banks were complying with CBN’s directive to banks to pay beneficiaries in dollars and an extra N5 per dollar remitted.

Here are our findings;

  • We got someone to transfer $100 to a beneficiary in Nigeria.
  • The beneficiary provided their local naira bank account nos.
  • The transferor who resides abroad then transferred the $100 to the beneficiary’s account in Nigeria using WorldRemit.
  • WorldRemit sends an email and text notification to the beneficiary confirming that an inflow has been deposited in the account.
  • The beneficiary went to the bank to claim the inflow. Upon discussing with the bank official, they are told that they received the $100 in a domiciliary account.
  • The account owner then asks how an account was opened without their knowledge. The bank official responds that the account is automatically created upon receipt of foreign remittance.
  • We then asked if the account is a suspense account or if that is transactional, the bank official responds that it is transactional, however, to a cumulative inflow of $2,000.
  • Once the inflow is higher than this amount, the beneficiary is expected to fulfill KYC requirements to continue operating the account.
  • The inflow can also be seen in the bank’s mobile banking application balances. The amount received is withdrawn easily and then you can go to the streets to sell at the prevailing black market rate.
  • The N5 per dollar was also credited to the beneficiary bank account.

READ: Naira4dollar scheme “is not comprehensive enough” to fix remittance shortages – ABCON Chief

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What this means

This new initiative suggests the CBN has temporarily opened up the ease of account opening for domiciliary accounts as this promo is meant to last for three months.

  • Commercial banks do not need the permission of the recipients to open a domiciliary account, a huge departure from the CBN’s strict policy documentation requirement for opening domiciliary accounts.
  • However, we observed that the email communication from WorldRemit includes a comment on account opening under the BIC/SWIFT as follows “consentNGUSDAccountCreation”.
  • Apart from dependents expecting money from loved ones abroad, Small Business owners operating in Nigeria can now receive funds from clients without the need to provide a domiciliary account nos in the first instance.
  • All they need to do is provide their naira bank account number and then their bank automatically opens a domiciliary account number once a remittance inflow is received.
  • If this initiative is sustained, it could create a massive platform for the retail market to receive or earn a significant amount of forex abroad without the need to own a PayPal account or any other competing account.

READ: Diaspora remittances are down 61% YoY highlighting need for CBN’s Naira4Dollar promo

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But…

While Nairametrics Research also suggests the inflows can be withdrawn at source, it could also open up beneficiaries to tax authorities who also monitor bank account inflows.

  • The Federal and State Inland Revenues also have access to bank accounts and can track inflows which they often use as a basis for their “best of judgment” tax demand notices.
  • This development may also be viewed by critics as the CBN effectively dollarizing the economy through the proliferation of domiciliary account openings.

It is also perceived by critics as confirmation that the CBN is allowing Nigerians to withdraw and sell dollars via the black market.

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Nairametrics Research team tracks, collates, maintains and manages a rich database of macro-economic and micro-economic data from Nigeria and Africa. Our analysts share some of the data collated on Nairametrics, using formats such as docs, tables and charts etc. The team also publishes research based analysis as articles on a regular basis.

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Currencies

Naira remains stable across forex market as dollar supply improves significantly by 430%

Naira remained stable against the US Dollar at the NAFEX window on Thursday to close at N410.50/$1.

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Naira value

Thursday,15th April 2021: The exchange rate between Naira and the US Dollar closed at N410.50/1$ in the Importers and Exporters window, where forex is traded officially.

Naira remained stable against the US Dollar at the NAFEX window on Thursday to close at N410.50/$1 as there was no movement when compared to the rate that was recorded on Wednesday, as dollar supply improves significantly by about 430%.

Also, the naira remained stable against the dollar for the third day at the parallel market on Thursday, 15th April 2021 to close at N482 to a dollar, the same rate that was recorded on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

READ: Nigeria’s external reserve drop by $261 million in 15 days, oil firms to sell forex to CBN 

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira remained stable against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Thursday to close at N410.50 to a dollar. This was the same rate that was recorded on Wednesday, 14th April 2021.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N410.50 to a dollar on Thursday. This represents an 86 kobo drop when compared to N409.64/$1 recorded on Wednesday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N437.62 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it closed at N410.50/$1. It also sold for as low as N392/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window rose significantly by 429.93% on Thursday, 15th April 2021.
  • A cursory look at the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ showed that forex turnover increased from $21.92 million recorded on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, to $116.16 million on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

READ: Naira gains at NAFEX as oil prices record biggest single day loss in 11 months

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s most popular digital currency, Bitcoin, went up by over 1% to close at $63,441 on Thursday evening as most investors still think it is a bubble.

  • Bitcoin had crossed the $64,000 mark on Wednesday after it traded past the $63,000 mark the previous day for the first time.
  • The Co-Founder and Managing Director of Nexo, Antoni Trenchev, had said that Bitcoin could hit $100,000 in the next 12 to 18 months.

Oil price gain

Brent crude oil price went up slightly on Thursday to close at $66.83 per barrel, indicating a 0.3% increase compared to $66.63 recorded at the close of trade on Wednesday as it trades at a one-month high.

  • Oil extended its climb out of a month-long trading range with further signs of an accelerating rebound taking shape in the U.S.
  • Oil remains firmly above its most recent trading range, where it had been stuck near $60 a barrel since mid-March as some regions faced a resurgence in virus cases. Continued signs of a stronger U.S. market are also pushing prices higher.
  • Brent Crude closed at $66.83 (+0.38%), WTI Crude closed at $63.46 indicating 0.49% gain, Bonny Light, $64.79 (+3.56%), OPEC Basket (+2.46%) to close at $63.39 while Natural gas rose by 1.53% to close at $2,658

READ: Nigeria’s external reserve drop by $261 million in 15 days, oil firms to sell forex to CBN 

External reserve

Nigeria’s external reserve gained about $27 million on Wednesday, 14th April 2021 to close at $35.199 billion, being the highest external reserve position recorded in over a month.

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  • This indicates a 0.08% increase when compared to $35.172 billion recorded on Tuesday, 13th April 2021.
  • It also represents an increase in the country’s external reserve position for the 17th consecutive day, having endured a significant downturn earlier in the year. Nigeria’s reserve has added a total of about $783 million in 17 days.
  • This recent increase in Nigeria’s external reserve could however be attributed to the increase in crude oil prices recorded earlier in March before the recent bearish trade in the crude market.
  • It could be attributed to the possible increase in diaspora remittance as the CBN offers incentives for every unit of a dollar received in Nigeria from diaspora remittance.
  • The external reserve is likely to get a further boost, as the Federal Government recently announced plans to issue $500 million Eurobonds for 2021.

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Currencies

Naira appreciates at NAFEX as CBN sells forex to foreign investors, first in 2021

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the NAFEX window on Wednesday to close at N410.50/$1.

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Wednesday,14th April 2021: The exchange rate between Naira and the US Dollar closed at N410.50/1$ in the Importers and Exporters window, where forex is traded officially.

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the NAFEX window on Wednesday to close at N410.50/$1. This represents a 0.12% gain when compared to N411/$1 recorded on Tuesday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria in its first sale, in 2021, to foreign investors seeking to repatriate their funds abroad, sold $20 million to them according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, the naira remained stable against the dollar for the second day at the parallel market on Wednesday, 14th April 2021 to close at N482 to a dollar, the same rate that was recorded on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

READ: Naira falls at NAFEX window as Bitcoin rises above $63,000, an all-time record high

Trading at the official NAFEX window

Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters window on Wednesday to close at N410.50 to a dollar. This represents a 50 kobo gain when compared to N411/$1 recorded on Tuesday, 13th April 2021.

  • The opening indicative rate closed at N409.64 to a dollar on Wednesday. This represents a 6 kobo drop when compared to N409.58/$1 recorded on Tuesday.
  • Also, an exchange rate of N422 to a dollar was the highest rate recorded during intra-day trading before it closed at N409.64/$1. It also sold for as low as N392/$1 during intra-day trading.
  • Forex turnover at the Investor and Exporters (I&E) window dropped significantly by 59.05% on Wednesday, 14th April 2021.
  • A cursory look at the data tracked by Nairametrics from FMDQ showed that forex turnover declined from $53.53 million recorded on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, to $21.92 million on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

READ: Naira gains at NAFEX window despite 26.2% drop in dollar supply

Cryptocurrency watch

The world’s most popular digital currency, bitcoin, reached another all-time high on Wednesday, touching $64,717.01 before coming down to $62,298.51 as of Wednesday evening ahead of Coinbase’s historic stock market listing in New York.

  • Bitcoin, which has been up and down over the last few weeks, crossed $64,000 on Wednesday after it had just yesterday, crossed the $63,000 mark for the first time.
  • The rally has come in anticipation of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s hotly tipped US stock market listing.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, the price of Dogecoin, recorded a new milestone as it went up by 54%, establishing a new all-time high of $0.1161.
  • Meanwhile, Coinbase, a Cryptocurrency exchange, finally made its highly anticipated debut on Nasdaq on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, becoming the first company devoted entirely to cryptocurrency to enter the US stock exchange with a $100 billion valuation.

READ: Naira remains flat as external reserve fall to just 6 months of imports

Oil price gain

Brent crude oil price jumped on Wednesday to close at $66.63 per barrel, indicating a 3.98% increase compared to $64.08 recorded at the close of trade on Tuesday as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports crude draw.

  • The EIA in its report said that crude oil inventories had shed 5.9 million barrels in the week to April 9, compared with an inventory draw of 3.5 million barrels reported for the previous week.
  • The EIA’s inventory estimate comes a day after the American Petroleum Institute reported a 3.6-million-barrel inventory draw in crude oil for the same period but a 5.565-million-barrel build in gasoline stocks, which prevented oil prices from swinging significantly up or down.
  • The oil rally can also be attributable to the picking up of US oil demand as economic expansion quickens. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures surged more than 5% on Wednesday and broke out the narrow trading range they had been stuck in since mid-March.
  • Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, said in a new note that it expected prices to remain range-bound through the end of the summer, at between $65 and $70 per barrel for Brent.
  • Brent Crude closed at $66.63 (+4.65%), WTI Crude closed at $63.18 indicating 4.99% gain, Bonny Light, $62.56 (+0.58%), OPEC Basket (+0.67%) to close at $61.87 while Natural gas declined by 0.08% to close at $2,617

External reserve

Nigeria’s external reserve gained about $34 million on Tuesday, 13th April 2021 to close at $35.172 billion, being the highest external reserve position recorded in over a month.

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  • This indicates a 0.1% increase when compared to $35.138 billion recorded on Monday, 12th April 2021.
  • It also represents an increase in the country’s external reserve position for the 16th consecutive day, having endured a significant downturn earlier in the year. Nigeria’s reserve has added a total of about $756 million in 16 days.
  • This recent increase in Nigeria’s external reserve could however be attributed to the increase in crude oil prices recorded earlier in March before the recent bearish trade in the crude market.
  • It could be attributed to the possible increase in diaspora remittance as the CBN offers incentives for every unit of a dollar received in Nigeria from diaspora remittance.
  • The external reserve is likely to get a further boost, as the Federal Government recently announced plans to issue $500 million Eurobonds for 2021.

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