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Nigeria Overdue for Cashless Economy, Emefiele Insists on Withdrawal Limits

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The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, said the Nigerian economy was overdue to go cashless as the Federal Government had sufficiently invested in the required payment system infrastructure to make the transition seamless.

Emefiele said this shortly after meeting the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari at his native hometown of Daura, Katsina State.

Controversies have trailed the CBN’s latest policy which limits daily cash withdrawals to N20, 000 and weekly withdrawals of N100,000 for individuals.

But defending the CBN’s directive, Emefiele said, “I think it’s important for me to say that the cashless policy started in 2012. But on almost three to four occasions, we had to step down the policy because we felt that there is a need for us to prepare ourselves and deepen our payment system infrastructure in Nigeria.

“Between 2012 and 2022, almost about 10 years, we believe that a lot of electronic channels have been put in place that will aid people in conducting banking and financial service transactions in Nigeria.

“And we think Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa needs to leapfrog into the cashless economy. We cannot continue to allow a situation where over 85 per cent of the cash that is in circulation is outside the bank. More and more countries that are embracing digitisation have gone cashless.”

Responding to the National Assembly’s rebuttal of the policy, Emefiele said the withdrawal limits were not cast in stone but would be reviewed upwards with time.

He argued that the CBN did not wish to make life difficult for Nigerians but only sought to better the economy.

“We will be reviewing from time to time how this is working because I cannot say that we are going to be rigid. But it is not to say that we will reverse, it is not to say that we will change the timing, but whether it is about tweaking some amount to be a little bit higher or a little bit lower, and all the rest of them.”

He added that the CBN would publish the names of all of its 1.4 million super agents to ease the return of old monies in unbanked communities.

On the amount of the old notes that had been returned to vaults, he said, “We have taken more than a trillion and in the bank we also have close to half a trillion.

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Economy

Naira Depreciates Further, Sells at N1,517/$

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The Naira, on Monday, continued its depreciation against the US dollar in the foreign exchange market.

Data from the parallel market section and FMDQ showed further depreciation against the dollar on Monday.

At the parallel market, a Bureau De Change operator in Wuse Zone 4, Mistila Dayyabu, said that the Naira was sold as high as N1,517 per dollar on Monday morning.

“On Monday morning, the dollar was sold at N1,517 per dollar. However, on hearing the information about the coming of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives, we started selling at N1,500 this evening, ” he said.

The figure increased from the N1, 450 per dollar it traded at the weekend.

Similarly, at the official market, FMDQ data showed that they dipped to N1478.11 per dollar on Monday from N1466.31 last Friday.

This represents an N11.8 drop from the N1466.31 recorded last Friday.

Earlier, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, said the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee will do everything to bring down soaring Nigeria’s inflation, which stood at 33.22 per cent in March 2024.

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Economy

Bloomberg Report Captures Naira As World’s Worst Performing Currency

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Nigeria’s naira has experienced a reversal in its recent gains, emerging as the world’s worst-performing currency over the last month, according to a new Bloomberg report.

The Friday report emphasised that this development places increased pressure on the Central Bank of Nigeria to continue raising interest rates.

The naira has depreciated to 1,466.31 against the dollar, marking its weakest level since March 20.

This decline is attributed to the local scarcity of the US currency, with only $84 million available on Thursday, half of the previous day’s supply.

CBN governor, Yemi Cardoso, had previously hailed the naira as the best-performing currency globally as of April 2024.

The naira faced challenges in March, plummeting to as low as N1,600/$1 on the official market and N1800/$1 on the parallel market.

Cardoso attributed this achievement to a series of foreign exchange market reforms and positive sentiment from leading international investment institutions.

The Punch

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Economy

Naira Begins Week on a Low, Trades at N1,419/$1 in Official Window

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The Naira began the week on a losing note against the American dollar on Monday, April 29, 2024 at the official window to trade at N1,419/$1.

This is according to data sourced from the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window.

At the end of trading on Monday, the Naira lost N19.88 against the dollar compared to the previous exchange rate of N1,399.23/$1 on Friday, April 27, 2024.

The intra-day high and low recorded during the day were N1,451/$1 and N1,060 /$1 respectively, representing a wide spread of N391/$1.

However, the Naira gained against the dollar at the parallel section of the market trading at N1,330/$1 representing a gain of N100 compared to the N1,430/$1 it traded the previous day.

Contrastingly, the Naira gained against the pound. The domestic currency appreciated by N10 against the British Pound to trade at N1,640/£1 as against the previous trading price of N1,650/£1 representing a gain of N10 for the local currency,

The Canadian dollar however closed flat against the naira to trade at N1,000/CA$1 same as the previous trading day rate.

The Euro also slumped against the Naira to trade at N1,430/€1 as against the rate of N1,450/€1 the previous trading rate indicating a gain of N20 for the Nigerian currency.

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