The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced that it will begin to offer small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) up to $20,000 per quarter in forex, in an effort to stimulate growth of businesses whose access to foreign currencies has been overshadowed by larger companies. The CBN made this announcement in a statement released on Monday, Reuters relates.
This is in addition to the CBN’s new plan to sell shorter-dated dollar forwards to inject liquidity into the official market and try to support the naira, traders revealed on Monday.
Also on Monday, the CBN auctioned $100 million, it said, with traders saying the sales will be settled within one week and 30 days, compared with the 60-day contracts it had written previously.
The central bank also sold $41 million for travel allowances and medical and tuition fees, it said in Monday’s statement.
Nigeria is battling a currency crisis brought on by low oil prices, which has tipped its economy into recession, hammered its dollar reserves and created chronic dollar shortages, which saw parallel market rates drop to as low as N520/$1. However, the revised forex policy of the CBN seems to be making some headway as parallel market rates have dropped to about N405/$1 within a month and a half.