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CBN Implements Stricter Guidelines to Stabilize Naira Amid Market Fluctuations

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken decisive steps to address the recent fluctuations in the Nigerian currency market. As the naira experiences divergent trends across different exchange platforms, the CBN has issued new guidelines aimed at stabilizing the foreign exchange market.


In the official Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the naira exhibited resilience, recording an impressive gain of N82.52 on Monday, February 26, 2024. This positive momentum saw the naira strengthen to trade at N1,582.94 per dollar, compared to its previous close at N1,665.5 per dollar on Friday, February 23, 2024.


However, in contrast, the parallel market witnessed a slight depreciation of the naira, with the currency trading at N1,680 per dollar after experiencing days of gains. This dynamic underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the Nigerian currency, necessitating strategic interventions from regulatory authorities.


The recent developments come in the wake of the CBN’s issuance of new directives to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators. These directives, outlined in an exposure draft of Nigeria’s Revised Regulatory Supervisory Guidelines for BDC operations, propose significant adjustments to the minimum requirements for BDC licenses.


Under the proposed guidelines, the minimum capital requirements for BDC operators have been substantially raised, with Tier 1 operators now mandated to maintain a minimum share capital of N2 billion and Tier 2 operators required to possess a minimum share capital of N500 million. Additionally, Tier 1 operators are subject to submitting a Mandatory Caution Deposit of N200 million, among other stipulated requirements.


The rationale behind these measures is to enhance the operational capacity and financial robustness of BDC operators, thereby promoting stability and transparency within the foreign exchange market. By implementing stricter regulations, the CBN aims to mitigate risks associated with currency speculation and ensure the integrity of the foreign exchange system.


Furthermore, the CBN’s proposed imposition of an annual limit on foreign currency purchases for school fees underscores its commitment to prudent monetary management. The restriction, set at $10,000 per customer annually, is part of broader efforts to manage capital outflows and safeguard Nigeria’s external reserves.


In light of these developments, the CBN continues to underscore its proactive approach towards maintaining monetary stability and fostering confidence in the Nigerian economy. As the regulatory landscape evolves, stakeholders are urged to comply with the revised guidelines to facilitate a more resilient and sustainable foreign exchange market.


The CBN remains vigilant in its oversight role, adapting its policies to address emerging challenges and uphold the integrity of Nigeria’s financial ecosystem. Through collaborative efforts with market participants, the CBN endeavors to navigate prevailing economic dynamics and chart a course towards sustained growth and stability.


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