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FG Applies Sledge Hammer To Stabilize The Naira, Blocks Online Crypto Tradings

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The Federal Government on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 blocked the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms to avert what it considers continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds, Premium Times reported on Wednesday.

Sources within the major telecommunication companies in the country told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) communicated the directive to telcos and they had started acting on it.

Apart from Binance, other platforms such as Forextime, OctaFX, Crypto, FXTM, Coinbase, Kraken, among others, were equally blocked.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported Wednesday that the government was considering blocking the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms as part of efforts to avert the free fall of the local currency.

Presidency and regulatory sources said the government decided to move against Binance and other crypto firms following reports that currency speculators and money launderers were using them to execute criminal activities. Authorities believe the ‘criminal activities’ going on on platforms are contributing significantly to the weakening of the naira.

Binance, a digital assets platform, serves as a window for peer to peer transactions allowing users to advertise interest to sell or buy currencies of their choice.

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed a disclaimer on Binance Nigeria Limited, saying the platform was “neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal”.

Despite the warning by the regulatory agency, the firm continued its operation, attracting huge patronage especially among urban youths and suspected speculators and money launderers. Aside from suspicions of economic sabotage, officials also speak of national security concerns as the platforms are often patronised by other criminal groups including for payment of ransom.

In its reaction earlier on Wednesday, Binance said “users behaving in a manipulative way” will be removed from its platform.

“As industry leaders, we are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance,” the platform added, noting that it is “setting an upper limit for ads, filtering and removing bad ads, requiring and raising deposits for merchants posting ads as well as processes for actioning against any market manipulators.”

On Tuesday, the Nigerian government announced that it was planning to raise $10bn to improve liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, disclosed this at the inaugural Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential. This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next 8 years,” Mr Shettima said.

Meanwhile, the naira tumbled to an all-time low of N1,900 per dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday, amidst speculations and uncertainties about supply constraints in the markets. But at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the local unit appreciated slightly to N1,551.24.

Earlier on Tuesday, the office of the National Security Adviser directed law enforcement agencies to take firm measures against anyone engaged in foreign exchange market speculation.

“In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria are joining forces to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability,” the office said in a statement.

“The CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives is being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira.”

PREMIUM TIMES

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Econony

Naira Depreciates Against The Dollar Again

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The Naira, yesterday, depreciated to N1,105 per dollar in the parallel market, from N1,100 per dollar on Tuesday.

Recall that it was earlier reported that the Naira declined to ₦1,100 per dollar in the parallel market on Tuesday, from ₦1,080 per dollar it traded the previous day.

Reports revealed that the Naira also depreciated in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) to ₦1,148.14 per dollar.

However, despite depreciating to N1,105 on Wednesday, it appreciated in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market to N1,072.74 per dollar.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM fell to N1,072.74 per dollar from N1,148.14 per dollar on Tuesday, indicating N75.4 appreciation for the naira.

Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to N32.26 per dollar from N48.14 per dollar on Tuesday.

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Nigeria’s FX reserves drop to $32bn, lowest in six years

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Nigeria’s foreign reserves fell to $32.29 billion on April 15, the lowest in over six years.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the reserves moved from $34.44 billion, the highest level in 2024, to $32.2 billion on April 15.

The foreign reserves dropped by $2.15 billion or 6.26 per cent.

This brings to an end, a period of steady increase between February 5 and March 18, when the FX reserves rose by $1.28 billion.

CBN had attributed the growth to increased remittance payments from Nigerians abroad and heightened interest from foreign investors in local assets, including government debt securities.

The last time the foreign reserves stood at this level ($32.29 billion) was on September 9, 2017, when the CBN reported N32.28 billion.

The decline in foreign reserves comes amid CBN’s intervention in the parallel market in a bid to crash the FX rate.

On February 27, the apex bank allocated $20,000 to each bureau de change (BDC) operator at the rate of N1,301/$, while the second tranche of $10,000 was sold to the BDCs at the rate of N1,251/$.

On April 8, the apex bank began the third tranche of sales to BDCs at N1,101/$.

Amid this intervention, the naira appreciated against the dollar in the parallel market, moving from N1,900 per dollar on February 21, to N1,100/$ on April 13.

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SEE Black Market Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today 17 April 2024

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Black Market Dollar To Naira Exchange Rate Today 17 April 2024 Can Be Accessed 👇

The official naira black market exchange rate in Nigeria today including the Black Market rates, Bureau De Change (BDC), and CBN rates. Please note that the exchange rate is subject to hourly fluctuations influenced by the supply and demand of dollars in the market.

As of now, you can purchase 1 dollar at a certain rate now, however, it’s important to keep in mind that the rate can shift (either upwards or downwards) within hours.

 

What is the dollar-to-naira black market exchange rate?

The local currency (abokiFx) opened at ₦1,115.00 per $1 at the parallel market otherwise known as the black market, today, Wednesday, 17 April 2024, in Lagos Nigeria, after it closed at ₦1,110.00 per $1 on Tuesday, 16 April 2024.

Dollar to Naira (USD to NGN) Black Market Exchange Rate Today
Buying Rate ₦1,050
Selling Rate ₦1,100
How does the black market dollar-to-naira exchange rate compare to the official rate?

The official exchange rate of the US dollar to the Nigerian naira, as of today, 17 April 2024, is ₦ 1,161 per US dollar.
This is the rate that the CBN uses for its transactions and interventions in the foreign exchange market. The official rate is also the basis for the exchange rates of other foreign currencies, such as the euro, the pound sterling, and the Chinese yuan.

The difference between the black market rate and the official rate is called the parallel market premium. The parallel market premium indicates the degree of divergence between the official and unofficial markets, and reflects the level of confidence in the naira and the CBN’s policies.

Disclaimer:We do not set or determine forex rates. The official NAFEX rates are obtained from the website of the FMDQOTC. Parallel market rates (black market rates) are obtained from various sources including online media outlets. The rates you buy or sell forex may be different from what is captured in this article.

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