Nigeria Considers Integration Of Multiple Exchange Rate Regime 

Yemisi Izuora

The federal government is contemplating integrating existing multiple exchange rate regime to generate more local currency from its dollar inflows and manage the rate in a sustainable manner.

Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed who said in a finance ministry document seen Reuters on Wednesda, added that government would direct oil firms to sell dollars to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as opposed to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

She said government is about deregulating petroleum prices as part of measures to safeguard oil revenues.

The policy will be implemented over a 12 month period, the document said.

Nigeria has operated a multiple exchange rate regime which the central bank has used to manage pressure on the Naira.

But dollar shortages have plagued the economy after a coronavirus-induced oil price crash slashed government revenues and weakened its currency.

Nigeria’s Naira opened 6.2 per cent lower against the U.S. dollar on the official market on Wednesday as traders quoted the currency close to the over-the-counter spot market rate on indications the government would move to conserve dwindling reserves.

The Naira traded at N385 per dollar on the official market, supported by the CBN, before recovering to N361, where it closed on Tuesday, data from Refinitiv Eikon showed.

The currency has been hitting new lows on the black and over-the-counter spot markets since March after the central bank adjusted its official rate, implying a 15 per cent devaluation. The Naira was quoted at N452 on the black market on Wednesday, while the longest five-year currency futures contract quoted it at N578.69.

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