…CBN injects $186.5m for SMEs
By Omodele Adigun and Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate has mandated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sanction any commercial bank that refuses to collect coins from customers as deposits.
It also charged the regulatory bank to convert lower currency notes into coins to be used side-by-side with notes in order to facilitate retail transactions in the country.
This followed a motion by Mustapha Bukar at yesterday’s plenary. Adopting a motion titled, “Non-usage of coins currencies in Nigeria and its negative effects on the economy,” it called on the CBN to redesign the nation’s coins to cater for highly repetitive transactions in the economy as well as intensify its sensitisation campaign at bringing back coins into circulation.
Bukar expressed worry that despite the huge budget by the apex bank on sensitising Nigerians on the need to accept coins, banks and customers reject the currency, thus promoting corruption and escalating inflation.
The lawmaker said coins disappeared in Nigeria because the face value of the metal used in producing it is lower than its intrinsic value.
Citing what obtains in developed countries, he argued that since the three coin denominations of 50kobo, N1 and N2 have lost value due to inflation, conversion of lower currency notes into coins will facilitate retail transactions in the country.
“Observe that even in developed countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America (USA), Japan, China, the European Union (EU) and the entire United Arab Emirate (UAE), coins are used as means of exchange through cash transactions.
Meanwhile, after the conclusion of its Monetary Policy Committee Meeting yesterday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced it has injected the sum of $186.5million into the invisible and the whole Wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) segments of the forex market.
This includes the sum of $36.5 million for invisibles, $50million for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segments and $100million in the wholesale segment. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also approved the sale of $100 million at the Wholesale Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS) auction announced on Monday, May 23, 2017.
The CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, speaking to the journalists on the sideline of the MPC briefing confirmed the sales at both the invisible and wholesale segments were settled on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
Mr. Okorafor reiterated that the CBN will continue to make every necessary intervention in the interbank market to sustain the supply of forex to meet legitimate foreign exchange demands by customers.
He stated that the efforts of the CBN in sustaining the intervention in the forex market is beginning to post some positive effects, as the Naira is making steady gain against major currencies.
This goes to reaffirms the CBN Governor’s pledge at the Tuesday Monetary Policy Committee press briefing on the need to sustain the FOREX intervention to ensure the convergence of the forex rates.
There are strong indications, according to market analysts that the Naira is likely to maintain an average exchange rate below N375 to $1 in no distant time.