The Central asked banks on Friday to submit bids for the Chinese yuan.

This is the first auction after it agreed a $2.5 billion swap with Peoples Bank of China in May.

The auction is part of an attempt to encourage the use of an alternative trading currency, particularly given the high level of imports from China, which amounted to $2 billion last year.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele granted approval for the auction to take place on Friday, according to CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor.

The CBN asked banks to bid for renminbi between 9:00 a.m. and midday on Friday, two people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the press about the matter.

The results will probably be announced by Monday, they said.

Also Read: 3 Things To Know If You Want To Benefit From Nigeria-China Currency Deal

While the CBN didn’t state the size of the sale or the exchange rate, allocations will be for businesses importing raw materials and machinery.

Emefiele said the three-year deal would help increase trade and reduce pressure on the naira-dollar exchange rate by weaning Nigerian importers off the greenback.

Giving companies access to yuan may make it easier for them to do business with China, but it’s unlikely to bolster the naira much, according to Omotola Abimbola, a bond and currency analyst at Ecobank Transnational Inc, who spoke to Bloomberg.

“In terms of the overall impact on the foreign-exchange market, it won’t be that significant. Our imports from China are very significant compared to the amount they can offer,” he told the news agency by phone.

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