CBN pays banks $6.7bn forex backlog, Naira Gains

The Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria, has commenced payment of outstanding matured FX forwards owed to various creditors.

A source familiar with the development confirmed the payment on Thursday.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed sources said three banks received full payment of debts owed.

The banks are Citi Bank, Stanbic IBTC and Standard Chartered Bank.

The amount of overdue forward payments is estimated at $6.7 billion, according to the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun.

Meanwhile, the naira has risen to N1,120 against the dollar as the foreign exchange market reacted to news that the Central Bank of Nigeria has begun to clear some of its FX backlog on Thursday.

This represents an appreciation of N50 or 4.27 per cent compared to the N1,170 it traded for on Wednesday. Currency traders, also known as Bureaux De Change operators stated that naira was recovering well after making a quick recovery from N1,170/dollar in the morning to close trading at N1,120/dollar.

The naira in Lagos recorded an average of 1,120/$ on Thursday, appreciating to 1,040/$ and 1,125/$ in different locations on Thursday. It traded at 1,170/$ on Wednesday. In Abuja, the average price of the naira against the dollar was 1,200.

However, 21 commercial institutions are operating in the country.

The source said, “Three banks payment received full payment from the CBN. On the amount, no bank would want to disclose that information.

Statements from two of the banks confirmed the payment of FX forwards by the CBN.

Stanbic IBTC in a statement said, “Yesterday, the apex bank began clearing the backlog of outstanding Retail SMIS obligations. The total amount cleared is yet to be ascertained.”

Also, Citi in a statement issued by its Treasury and Trade Solutions department, exclaimed, “CBN HAS DONE IT.”

The bank enjoined its customers to begin to speak with their respective Relationship Manager or Trade Service Professional for clarification on the matter.

Culled from Punch