The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Monday sold $100 million at a special wholesale spot and forwards auction, as it tries to improve dollar liquidity and ease pressure on the Naira, Reuters reports.
Nigeria, Africa’s economic hub, has resorted to regular injections of dollars by its apex bank to narrow the spread between the official and black market rates.
This is after the country’s battle with a currency crisis brought on by low oil prices which have hammered its foreign reserves and created chronic dollar shortages.
It is understood that the CBN has sold more than $4 billion to various sectors of the economy since it started intervening on the official market in February.
This, according to currency traders, has increased liquidity in the official market and helped to ease pressure on the naira.
Traders, citing a notice from the regulator, said the currency forwards being auctioned on Monday would be settled within 60-days and backed by customer demand.
The naira was quoted at 381.91 per dollar at the investor window on Monday, according to the market regulator FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange.
It was quoted at 315 a dollar on the official interbank market by commercial lenders, while it trading at 380 a dollar on the black market.
The naira has firmed on the black market from its record low of 520 to the dollar in February, before the central bank’s intervention in the foreign exchange market.