The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it used $15.3bn to steady the value of the naira from January to October 2022.
This was disclosed in the banking sector regulator’s monthly and quarterly economic reports on foreign exchange market developments.
The reports made known that $4.86bn, $4.81bn and $4.18bn were shot into the economy during the first, second and third quarters while $1.46bn was injected in October.
The report further explained that “total foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers by the bank, at $4.86bn, decreased by 5.8 per cent, compared with the previous quarter’s level.
“Disaggregation shows that foreign exchange sales at interbank/invisibles and SMIS windows declined by 16.9 per cent and 10.8 per cent to $0.46bn and $1.79bn, respectively, relative to the levels in the preceding quarter.
“Similarly, SME interventions and sales at the Investors & Exporters window, decreased by 2.0 per cent and 26.7 per cent to $0.38bn and $1.41bn, compared with the amounts in the preceding quarter.”
The second quarter saw a drop in foreign exchange as explained in the report.
“Total foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers by the bank at $4.81bn, decreased by 0.9 per cent, compared with the level in the preceding quarter.
“Disaggregation shows that SME interventions and sales at the investors & exporters window declined by 8.6 per cent and 41.3 per cent to $0.34bn and $0.83bn, respectively, relative to the preceding quarter.
“However, interbank/invisibles and SMIS windows, increased by 5.3 per cent and 14.7 per cent to $0.48bn and $2.05bn, compared with the amounts in the preceding quarter.”
Meanwhile in the third quarter of 2022, there was a further drop in numbers.
“Total foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers by the Bank decreased in the review period. Foreign exchange sales at $4.18bn, decreased by 13.1 per cent, below the level in the preceding quarter.
“A disaggregation shows that foreign exchange sales at the Secondary Market Intervention Sales and Investors’ and Exporters’ windows, decreased by 10.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent to $1.83bn and $0.79bn, respectively. Similarly, matured swap contracts fell by 48.9 per cent to $0.57bn, relative to 2022, Q2.”
However, the CBN added that sales at the Small and Medium Enterprises and interbank/invisibles windows increased by 32.4 per cent and 10.0 per cent to $0.46bn and $0.53bn, respectively, relative to the levels in the preceding quarter.
In October, the CBN said, “Total foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers by the Bank was $1.46bn, an increase of 31.7 per cent, relative to $1.11bn in September.”
Private Sector Credit Hits Record High of N76.94 Trillion in January 2024 – CBN Report
Private sector credit in Nigeria reached a record N76.94 trillion in January 2024, according to the latest report from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This represents a 85.2% year-on-year increase from N41.54 trillion reported in January 2023.
The CBN’s Money and Credit Statistics report unveiled that credit to the private sector experienced a substantial month-on-month surge of 23.06%, or N14.42 trillion, from N62.52 trillion in December 2023.
This surge occurred amid the implementation of the CBN’s policy to unify the naira exchange rate.
Analysts attribute the reported N76.94 trillion credit to the private sector to the recent depreciation of the naira against foreign currencies.
The naira closed at N1,356.88 per dollar in January 2024, representing a 50.87% decline or N457.49 against the dollar compared to December 2023.
This depreciation compelled banks to extend credit to major corporations to meet the CBN’s mandated Loan-to-Deposit Ratio (LDR) threshold.
The CBN’s decision to resume the enforcement of the LDR policy, effective July 31, 2023, further propelled banks to increase lending to customers, stimulating the real sector of the economy.
With the CRR mechanism updated, banks with an LDR below the prescribed level faced a 50% lending shortfall penalty.
Experts suggest that the significant increase in private sector credit underscores the growing need for businesses to secure funds amidst economic uncertainties and exchange rate volatility.
It also signifies banks’ efforts to comply with regulatory requirements and support economic growth initiatives.
As Nigeria navigates its economic landscape, stakeholders anticipate further developments in credit dynamics and monetary policies to sustain financial stability and stimulate economic expansion.
Senate Initiates Probe into N30tn Ways and Means Loans under Buhari Administration
The Nigerian Senate has embarked on a comprehensive investigation into the disbursement and utilization of the N30 trillion Ways and Means loans obtained by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ways and Means facility allows the CBN to provide financial support to the government to cover budget shortfalls.
The decision to probe the massive loans comes amid concerns about the transparency and accountability surrounding the utilization of these funds, particularly as the country grapples with economic challenges, food crises, rising inflation, and worsening insecurity.
The Senate’s investigation aims to shed light on how the substantial overdrafts from the CBN were acquired and expended under the leadership of former President Buhari.
There is growing apprehension that the indiscriminate spending of the overdrafts, particularly during Godwin Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor, may have contributed significantly to the current economic predicament facing the nation.
The probe will delve into the details of the N30 trillion overdrafts, with a specific focus on examining the purpose for which the funds were allocated and how they were utilized.
Also, the Senate will scrutinize the N10 trillion disbursed under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme, as well as the utilization of $2.4 billion out of the $7 billion earmarked for forex transactions.
The initiative underscores the Senate’s commitment to ensuring transparency, fiscal responsibility, and prudent financial management in the country’s economic affairs.
It is anticipated that the probe will unearth vital insights into the financial transactions of the past administration, enabling corrective measures to be taken to address any mismanagement or discrepancies discovered.
Foreign Loans Dominate Nigeria’s 2023 Capital Importation, Hits $2.31bn – NBS Report
In 2023, foreign loans dominated Nigeria’s capital importation, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The report reveals that out of the total $3.91 billion foreign investment inflow, foreign loans accounted for $2.31 billion, representing 59.1% of the total capital importation.
The NBS data indicates a substantial increase in foreign capital inflow compared to previous quarters.
The final quarter of 2023 saw a notable surge, with foreign capital importation rising from $654.65 million in the third quarter to $1.09 billion.
This surge reflects increased investor confidence and interest in Nigeria’s economic prospects.
However, the dominance of foreign loans in the capital importation landscape raises concerns about Nigeria’s debt profile and sustainability.
While foreign loans can provide crucial funding for development projects and infrastructure, excessive reliance on borrowing poses risks to the country’s fiscal health and economic stability.
It underscores the urgent need for prudent debt management and strategies to diversify funding sources.
The breakdown of the capital importation further reveals that Nigeria received $433.87 million in the first quarter, $771.53 million in the second quarter, $507.71 million in the third quarter, and $594.75 million in the fourth quarter as foreign loans.
The report underscores the importance of addressing structural challenges and creating an enabling environment to attract diverse forms of foreign investment beyond loans.
It emphasizes the need for policies that promote sustainable economic growth, attract foreign direct investment, and reduce reliance on external borrowing.
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