In the last two days, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has pumped a total of $380 million into the Foreign Exchange Market.

It is an attempt to further strengthen the Naira, the CBN spokesman Isaac Okorafor said.

The first tranche of $280m was released on Tuesday and on Wednesday, the bank offered additional $100 million to authorised dealers to meet the 7 to 15-day forwards requests of customers.

There have been reports of excessive amount of forex in the system, which Mr Okorafor attributed to the inability of the authorised dealers to fully subscribe to the CBN.

He, however, expressed optimism that the the situation would lead to further appreciation of the Naira.

Major Boost For Small Importers

According to him, the trend monitored by the Bank indicated that deposit money banks were now able to meet the forex demands of their customers within the time frame stipulated by the CBN.

The CBN will on Thursday, continue its sale of 20,000 dollars to Bureaux de Change (BDCs) for onward sale to small-end users.

One of the results of the pumping-in of dollars into the forex market, according to Mr Okorafor, is that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria and majority of small importers is heading for a major boost in their activities.

This, according to him, was responsible for the current appreciation of the Naira.

“The Naira will continue to gain strength with the relentless efforts of the CBN to supply the market with forex,” the News Agency of Nigeria quoted him as saying.

The spokesman also reiterated the determination of the CBN to continue to intervene in the various sectors of the interbank forex market in order to guarantee access to all categories of customers requiring forex for legitimate obligations.

The Naira on Wednesday closed at 390 Naira at the parallel market and 306 Naira to a dollar at the interbank market on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has applauded the strategy of the CBN to increase sales of foreign exchange to the interbank market, Bureau de Change as well as other segments.

It, however, stressed the need for the CBN to ease restrictions on access to foreign exchange, which it pointed out had continued to hinder rigorous economic recovery in Nigeria.

Some economic analysts have expressed worries over how long the CBN would sustain the intervention and how much of indigenous production of household items this would promote.