Nigeria: Central Bank says no plan to restrict dollar supply

*Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

*Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

20 November 2015, Lagos – Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade has denied a news report that the apex bank plans to restrict dollar supplies to the interbank foreign exchange market.

Bloomberg had quoted an unnamed source as stating that the central bank had told commercial lenders at a meeting last week that it plans to cut dollar supplies to the market because it is running short of reserves, according to a person who attended the talks.

It said in its report yesterday that Alade told treasurers of the country’s banks at the meeting in Lagos on November 13 that they should prepare for exchange-rate policies to remain in place for longer and that there are no plans to devalue the naira or to loosen currency-trading restrictions, according to the person, who asked not to be identified as the talks were private.

The central bank will only sell as many dollars to banks or currency-dealers as it receives from oil exports, which amounts to about $1 billion a month, the person was quoted by Bloomberg as stating.

Speaking to THISDAY on Thursday, Alade confirmed that there was a meeting with bank treasurers last week during which strategy was discussed and informed them that the focus of the central bank was to improve lending to the real sector.

When the issue of foreign exchange management came up, she said she informed her audience that the central bank’s policies remained unchanged as it had no intention of devaluing the naira.

She said: “I do not know where Bloomberg got their story from. I never said that the central bank will reduce dollar supply to the market. This was our usual quarterly meeting with treasurers and we focused primarily on strategy and improved lending to the real sector,” she said.

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