The nation’s currency, the Naira eased 10 points from N495 it traded during the weekend to settle at 485 per dollar at the parallel market Tuesday.

 

It was 305 per dollar at the official interbank market rate on Friday before the market closed for the Christmas and Boxing day holidays, while the euro and the British pound exchanged for 330 and 388 respectively.

According to dealer in Lagos, the naira appreciated on Friday after the CBN sold dollars to commercial banks via a special auction.

 

But he noted that the pressure around the festivities pushed the naira to 495- 498 against the dollar over the weekend.

“We sold for N495 to the dollar during the weekend, but the pressure has gone down drastically compared to last week and the naira has appreciated to 485 per dollar,” a BDC operator disclosed to Business Times.

“Today, some traders have sold at 487, 486, but now, we are selling at 485 and buying at 482.”

Meanwhile, in line with its determination to ensure seamless flow of activities in critical sectors of the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved requests for foreign exchange valued at N1,003,373,891.75 through the inter-bank window to enable industries to procure materials and machine spare parts.

The CBN forex utilization figures published for December shows that the industrial raw materials group got the highest share of N483,075,669.82, approximating to 48.1 per cent.

 

Petroleum and aviation sectors received N372,116,111.79 and N123,666,001.06 or 37.1  per cent and 12.2 per cent. Agriculture received N24,516,109.09 or 2.1 per cent.

 

Commenting on the development, the acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, stressed the commitment and resolve of the apex bank to easing the foreign exchange pressure of these critical sectors through forward sales under the new Flexible Exchange regime.

 

The CBN in September and October supported these critical sectors with $660 million and $867 million to source industrial raw materials and spare parts through the interbank forex market.

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