There are strong indications that the demand for foreign exchange by authorized dealers has slumped, as the dealers were only able to pick $45 million out of the $100 million offered by the CBN on wholesale spot.
Industry experts have attributed the slump in demand to the rate of forex liquidity being pumped into the system by the CBN, noting that it is only a matter of time before the dollar begins another round of crash. The experts also attributed the new trend to the general cash crunch in the financial system.
The dollar has also crashed against major currencies since US President Donald Trump’s surprising declaration that China is not manipulating the value of the yuan.
In a chat with newsmen, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, said the major injections made by the Bank in the course of the week were aimed at providing access to all stakeholders with legitimate need for forex.
“The CBN remains upbeat that the forex market will remain liquid and that Nigerians who genuinely require the forex will get ample access to the currency,” Okorafor noted.
It will be recalled that the CBN made special interventions in the Bureau de Change Segment of the forex market and capped up an eventful period with the opening of a new window for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These special interventions are in addition to over $500 million dollars offered to dealers in the wholesale and retail segments in the past week.
Okorafor had disclosed that the new window for SMEs provides small scale importers an avenue to source forex to boost their respective business through the importation of eligible finished and semi-finished items at not more than $20,000 per quarter per enterprise.
Lauding the CBN intervention across the various window of the forex market, analysts expressed hope that the trend would be sustained, going by the current level of foreign reserves.