In line with its resolve to continue to monitor the flow of forex in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday cut the amount of dollar supply to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators by 33.3 per cent to $50,000 for each firm per week.
The volume of forex supplied to the BDCs was previously $75,000 for each operator per week.
The CBN noted that the policy would become effective from July 9, 2012.
The banking sector regulator disclosed this in a circular with reference number: "TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/017," addressed to all dealers and BDC operators.
The circular titled: "Foreign Exchange Cash Sales to Licensed Bureaux De Change by the CBN," signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, CBN, Mr. Batari Musa, was posted on the regulator's website.
It explained: "This is to inform all authorised dealers and BDCs that the amount of weekly forex sales to BDCs has been reviewed. Consequently, the maximum amount of forex cash sales to each BDC per week shall be $50,000 with effect from Monday, July 9, 2012.
"The circular supersedes the one ref No: TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/07, dated March 15, 2012 on the subject. Please ensure compliance accordingly."
Meanwhile, the naira improved slightly against the United States dollar at both the interbank and Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) bi-weekly forex auction as appetite for the greenback reduced yesterday. Specifically, at the interbank, the naira chalked up 54 kobo to close at N162.75 to a dollar yesterday, as against the N163.29 to a dollar it closed the previous day.
On the other hand, at the CBN's regulated auction, demand for the dollar fell by $49 million as only $251 million out of the $300 million, which was offered by the regulator was sold.
Consequently, the naira gained slightly by 4 kobo to close at N155.90 to a dollar, compared with the N155.94 to a dollar it was at the end of Monday's auction. The CBN had offered $350 million at Monday's auction.
Dealers said sale of about $50 million by Chevron and Addax at the interbank also supported the local currency.
However, analysts at FBN Capital Limited yesterday decried the slow pace of the Federal Government's plans to diversify the Nigerian economy.
The firm in a report yesterday stressed that government must as a matter of urgency diversify the economy to ensure a better future for Nigerians
"Diversification away from oil is work in progress, albeit at a gradual pace. Nigeria is shortly to export a $136 million consignment of cassava chips to China. Looking further ahead, exports of cement and sugar are set to become more significant," FBN Capital said.