The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has abolished the segmentation of the foreign exchange (FX) market and re-introduced the “willing buyer, willing seller” model at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Angela Sere-Ejembi, Director, Financial Markets, said that the changes were made to “ensure a more efficient and transparent FX market.”
The statement said that all segments of the FX market, including the interbank, wholesale, retail, and SMEs windows, have been collapsed into the I&E window.
Applications for medicals, school fees, business travel allowance (BTA)/personal travel allowance (PTA), and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will continue to be processed through deposit money banks.
The statement said that the “willing buyer, willing seller” model at the I&E window will allow all eligible transactions to access foreign exchange at the prevailing market rate.
The CBN said that the changes will take effect immediately.
The changes come at a time when the naira is under pressure due to the rising cost of imports and the decline in oil prices.
The CBN has been trying to shore up the naira by selling foreign exchange to authorized dealers at the official rate. However, the official rate is significantly higher than the black market rate, which has led to a thriving black market for foreign exchange.
The CBN hopes that the changes will make the FX market more efficient and transparent, which will help to bring down the black market rate.
The CBN has also said that it will continue to monitor the FX market and take further measures if necessary.