Naira “Appreciation”: Why Nigerians Should Not Celebrate – Barcanista


Is the value of the Naira really appreciating in the real sense or the CBN and the FG are playing pranks on Nigerians? Why are commodities still high in the market?

Ideal Situation
Ideally, customers operating domiciliary accounts will go to the banks, deposit their dollar and through that account they do whatever transaction that they deem necessary. The Banks inturn will take the dollars(and other foreign currencies) to the CBN.

The Buhari/Emefiele Situation
1. The CBN has stopped receiving dollars from banks, as a result the banks has stopped accepting dollars at the counter because their vaults are full.

2. Because of the restriction at 1(above) the demand for dollar reduces in the BDC. The BDCs seek every means to trade the currency including reducing the cost at the black market. The CBN will go to the press to scream “NAIRA IS APPRECIATING.”

3. As a result of 1(above) the banks also refuse to request dollars from the CBN’s foreign exchange reserve. The CBN will then come out to scream “RESERVE IS GROWING”.

Is that the best way to manage the naira?

Salient Question and Effects:
1. What happens to a businessmen with domiciliary account seeking to deposit dollars and transfer to their partners abroad after buying the dollar from BDC or Bank?

2. The bank’s refusal to accept dollar deposit means business transaction on that will be halted. Because no domiciliary account holder will be willing to withdraw from his account when he knows that he won’t be able to make further deposit due to the CBN’s policy except if his intention is solely for converting the dollar to naira for local transaction.

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3. Instead of doing transactions from domiciliary account, businessmen will be left with no choice but to operate domiciliary account in neighbouring countries where they will be making transactions or resort to wiring money via Western Union in neighboring country.

4. As a result of 3(above) the cost of commodities will go UP because businesses will make up for the extra expenses. Also, that will mean reduction in business activities in the banks.

5. Should the above persist it will get to a certain point where there will be scarcity of the dollar in the market. When it get to that point, the dollar rate is astronomically shooooooot up in the market because demand will outweigh supply. At this point, the naira problem will be worse than it was.

Is The Naira Really Appreciating?
Make no mistake, the naira-dollar rate is yet to appreciate in the international market. As at May 29 the naira/$ rate was N199 in the market. The rate as at today Aug 5, 2015 is still N199. You can’t appreciate a currency via the backdoor. Even the black market rate cannot be regulated through the back door.

What “Sane” Countries Does:
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made it look like one can’t deposit foreign currencies in cash in another country. This is contrary to the facts on ground. No country will shut down foreign currencies transactions in banks. Let me give two instances…

On February 27, 2015, the Central Bank of Egypt instituted a new policy to help the Egyptian pound. As part of the policy, Individuals and businesses are allowed a maximum of $10,000(or equivalent) deposit daily and $50,000(or equivalent) monthly. The measure would stop companies from buying large amounts of dollars from the black market and then depositing them briefly in banks in order to open letters of credit for imports.

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In China the maximum daily deposit/withdrawal of foreign currencies is $10,000(or equivalent).

Is it not better to place a transactional limit for foreign currencies than discourage deposit completely(that will solve nothing)?
We don’t produce, we import, we have no policy to promote local production nor infrastructures in place to encourage manufacturers, yet we expect the naira to appreciate. That is not done anywhere.

I will be glad to get the views of others.

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