The Nigerian Naira stands at N416.39 against the U.S. Dollar at the official foreign exchange market amidst developing strategic policies to save the Naira from the daring threat of collapse.
The naira has sadly maintained this range with the dollar for weeks even as it also showed a slight increase with the Pounds Sterling at N547.0115 from N546.7595. Investors King observes that the Nigerian currency however had a slight improvement against the Euro with the exchange closing at N459.1116 from the N460.269 it traded last Thursday.
The Dollar to Naira rates at the unregulated black market also stands at N581 to $1.
Saving the Naira
In a bid to save the Naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has devised a number of policies to strengthen the local currency and increase its performance in the exchange market. Policies like Naira4Dollar – to promote foreign remittance; The CBN adopting the NAFEX rates – to reduce FX subsidy by at least 7.5%; Ban on BDCs and creation of Bank-supported Forex platforms for customers; Eurodollar borrowing – to boost foreign reserves; The creation of e-Naira to complement the naira in a digital setting.
While all these policies are targeted at saving the Naira, the troubles of the continent’s largest economy are still very much persistent and highlighted a number of underlying issues like Inflation Rate Differential, Balance of Trade challenges, Foreign reserves balances, Interest rate differentials, e.t.c.
Earlier reports already show that Nigeria’s foreign reserves currently stand at $39.755 billion following a steep decline of $129.210 million in the past weeks.
CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee Meeting & The Global Environment
Expectations are still rising over the results of the CBN 284th Monetary Policy Committee meeting which commenced today, Monday 21st March.
Also, with the ongoing events with Russia and Ukraine and how it has affected global markets, it is quite what the outcome of the MPC would be. However, with the Ukraine-Russia war leading to a hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve Bank of the USA, experts project that the MPC should marginally increase the monetary policy rate.
Cryptocurrency remained subdued across the board as cryptocurrency investors weigh the pros and cons of the U.S interest rate increase on the entire crypto space.
Bitcoin to Naira stood at N17.114 million at the time of publishing. Ethereum, which is the second most capitalised cryptocurrency also currently stands at N1.207 million.
Naira Exchange Rate Dips at Official Market and Black Market
The Nigerian Naira opened the week lower against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) foreign exchange window now adopted as the official forex window and also at the black market.
The local currency opened at N417.30 against the United States Dollar before declining by 0.60% to close the day at N421.50/$ at the I&E window. Forex traders at the window transacted forex worth $70.68 million on Monday.
For banks and international money transfer operators, the Central Bank of Nigeria buys US Dollars at N414.75 and sells at N415.75. The apex bank buys and sells Pounds Sterling N508.2761 and N509.5016, respectively. For the European common currency, the Euro, the central bank sold it at N433.0453 and acquired it at N432.0036 a unit.
At the parallel market popularly known as the black market, the Naira was exchanged at N599 for a United States Dollar in Abuja.
Speaking on why the exchange rate is that high, Abu Abdullahi, a currency trader at Zone 4 in Abuja, said demand for the U.S. Dollar is high despite persistent scarcity.
Crude oil extended its gain in the early hours of Tuesday on optimism that China, the world’s largest importer of the commodity, would see substantial demand recovery after the latest data pointed to slowing COVID-19 infections in the hardest-hit areas.
Brent crude oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, gained $2.69, or 2.4% to $114.24 a barrel at 5 am Nigerian time. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $3.71, or 3.4%, to $114.20 a barrel, Investors King understands.
“We are seeing a lot of signals that demand will start returning in that region, supporting higher prices,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.
Finally, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies shake off Luna-led decline to pare losses on Tuesday. Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) announced in the late hours of Monday that it was discontinuing Luna Coin and stablecoin (UST) operations to launch a new blockchain protocol that would focus on developers and building in general.
The announcement marked the end of one of the most promising cryptocurrency projects and once again reminds the world of how vulnerable the cryptocurrency space is — regardless of what creators say.
Bitcoin gained 1.99% to $30,366 per coin while Eth, a token of Ethereum, XRP (token of Ripple) and Solana appreciated by 3.15%, 3.25% and 4.39% to close at $2,084.27, $0.431744 and $55.86, respectively.
Black Market: Dollar to Naira Exchange Rate Remains Under Pressure
1 dollar to naira today on the black market was N585 and purchased at N590 in Ibadan and Lagos
The Nigerian Naira remained under pressure against global counterparts in the Nigerian unregulated parallel market, popularly known as the black market. $1 dollar to naira today on the black market was N585 and purchased at N590 in Ibadan and Lagos.
At the Investors and Exporters’ forex window, the Dollar to Naira exchange rate dipped by 0.24% to N419 from N417.70 it exchanged on Thursday.
For the interbank market, Investors King observed that the Nigerian Naira remained largely unchanged at N415.74 against the U.S. Dollar.
Bitcoin to Naira exchange rate remained subdued as the uncertainty surrounding the cryptocurrency space surged to a record-high following about a 99% plunge in the value of Terra Luna Coin and its stablecoin, UST.
Bitcoin to Naira exchange rate dropped by 1.49% in the last 24 hours to N17.859 million. While Eth, a token of the Ethereum protocol dipped by 0.34% to N1.232 million, down from about N2 million it traded a few weeks ago.
The uncertainty in the cryptocurrency space also dragged on the Binance coin (BNB) as the coin of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange platform moderated to N179,834 a coin, a 0.50% decline in its value.
Luna, the cryptocurrency that once again alerted the world to the vulnerability of unregulated space, is presently trading at N0.120 per coin, down from about N57,000 it was trading a week ago.
Oil prices fell on Monday as the uncertainty surrounding China, the world’s second-largest economy, continues to drag on the commodity outlook.
Brent crude, the benchmark for Nigerian crude oil dipped by 0.7%, or 72 cents to $110.83 per barrel at 11:45 am on Monday. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil fell by 0.5%, or 58 cents to $109.91 a barrel.
The decline was a result of the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown in china. China, the world’s largest importer of crude oil, is said to have instituted lockdown restrictions in about 46 cities to curb the spreading COVID-19.
However, this lockdown has started disrupting China’s economic activity as retail sales contracted by 11% while factory production dropped by 2.9% in the month of April.
Experts are now predicting that despite Russia’s sanction, crude oil prices could drop further if the Chinese lockdown persists.
Shortage In Foreign Exchange As Naira Falls to N595 Against U.S. Dollar
Amid the scarcity of Foreign Exchange (Forex) in the country, the Nigerian Naira on Monday extended its decline to N595 against the United States Dollar on the parallel market, popularly known as the Black market.
An analysis by Investors King revealed that last week, the Naira exchanged at N590 to a U.S. Dollar on Thursday on the black market before dropping in value to N595 on Friday, the same rate it exchanged on Monday. However, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned against patronising that section of forex.
In 2021, the CBN stopped allocating forex to Bureau de change operators after accusing them of aiding illegal forex flows, hoarding, and speculation. All forex allocations were then appropriated to the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), presently being accused of the same things.
To plug forex leakages and challenges, the apex bank once again declared that it will stop appropriating forex to DMBs by the end of 2022 to spur its $200 billion forex repatriation program (RT200 FX Programme).
At the 2021 Banker’s Committee, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele announced the ‘RT200 FX Programme, which aims to increase forex inflow into the country from non-oil sources over the next three to five years.
“After serious consideration of the various possibilities, the CBN is launching the Banker’s committee ‘RT200 FX programme’, which represents the ‘Race to $200 billion FX repatriation’, ‘effective immediately, based on available choices and extensive engagement with the financial community”, Emefiele had said.
The RT200 program is a set of policies, strategies, and programs for non-oil exports that will allow Nigeria to achieve its ambitious but doable objective of $200 billion in FX repatriation, from non-oil exports over the next three to five years.
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