The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s officials will meet bureau de change (BDC) operators today to try to find ways to eliminate the gap between the official and black market dollar rates, the association president told Reuters.
The naira lost a third of its official value against the dollar in 2016 after the bank scrapped a peg in a bid to alleviate dollar shortages.
On the black market, the naira is worth about 40 percent less than the official rate. It closed at N490 to the dollar on Monday.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said last month that the central bank would try to narrow the gap, which the government said was hurting an already shaky economy, but gave no details.
The central bank often consults industry bodies including banking and currency associations before finalising policy.
In the past, retail operators accounted for less than five per cent of total foreign currency trading in Nigeria. But with liquidity low on the official market, and the central bank the main supplier of dollars, the bureaux de change have done more business. Low prices have dried up the oil income that makes up 70 per cent of government revenues and pushed Africa’s largest economy into recession. The naira has traded at around N305 to the dollar on the official interbank market since August.