In a notable development on Monday, the Nigerian naira recorded a substantial appreciation of 27.16%, closing at N864.29 against the US dollar on the official Investors and Exporter (I&E) window. The surge in value represents a significant recovery from the all-time low of N1,099.05/$ reported last Friday, signaling a N234.76 gain, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange.
The daily turnover of the dollar also experienced a notable increase, rising by 86.83% to $132.46 million at the close of trading, compared to $70.90 million on the previous Friday. Trading activities on Monday saw the naira opening at N867/$, reaching a high of N1,185.10/$, hitting a low of N720/$, and eventually settling at N864.29/$.
This recovery follows the recent volatility in the movement of the naira, attributed to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to remove the rate cap. Since the apex bank’s move to unify rates, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have seen a decline of approximately $1.6 billion, reaching $32.97 billion.
Analysts attribute the decline in FX reserves to the free fall of the naira, echoing concerns raised by the Economist Intelligence Unit. In its Africa Outlook report, the unit expressed skepticism about Nigeria’s ability to defend its exchange rate unification policy, citing an unsupportive monetary policy and a lack of firepower in the central bank to adequately supply the market.
Addressing these concerns, CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso discussed Nigeria’s efforts to stabilize exchange rates. He announced plans to release new foreign exchange guidelines aimed at ensuring the proper functioning of both domestic and foreign currency markets. Cardoso emphasized the importance of clear, transparent, and harmonized rules governing market operations, highlighting extensive consultations with banks and FX market operators before implementing any new requirements.
As Nigeria strives to navigate the complexities of its foreign exchange landscape, the recent positive movement in the naira signals a potential step towards stability. The unveiling of new FX guidelines by the CBN indicates a proactive approach to address market challenges and instill confidence among investors, ultimately contributing to the nation’s economic resilience.