CBN not defending naira as $600m inflow expected — Cardoso

Olayemi Cardoso, the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank has said that $600 million has come into the country’s foreign reserves.

The CBN governor made the revelation at the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings in Washington, D.C Wednesday. He added that the shifts in Nigeria’s external reserves have nothing to do with defending the naira.

“In the next couple of days, I think between yesterday and today, we had about $600 million that came into the reserves account, so I wouldn’t let people get too excited about it. That’s where we’re going. So the shifts you’ve seen in our reserves, has nothing to do with defending naira,” he said.

BusinessDay earlier reported that the external reserves stood at $32.29 billion as of Monday, April 15. With this additional inflow, the external reserves would stand at about $33.49 billion.

However, Cardoso noted that the apex bank is focused on getting the foreign exchange market to independence, where it is controlled by market forces.

It is not my intention to defend the naira. We’re pushing the markets to a willing buyer / willing seller, price discovery. And ultimately, I perceive a future where the central bank will not need to intervene. What is important to us is that there’s sufficient liquidity in the market, which I’ve spoken about here today,” he said.

He also said that the CBN’s recent sales of FX were part of its efforts to catalyse the Bureau de Change market.

“At the outset, there have been few cases where relatively tiny amounts of money went into the BDCs. That is happening because individuals must have access to funds to send their kids abroad and do important things. But, in terms of an intervention, that’s not our intention,” he said.


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