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Naira strengthens to N1,250 at parallel market

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The naira, Nigeria’s currency, on Wednesday, strengthened to N1,250 to a dollar, gaining 0.8 percent (N10) over N1,260 closed on Tuesday at the parallel market, popularly called the black market.

Compared to the level on February 20, 2024, naira has gained 46 percent of its value against the dollar from the lowest of N1,825/$ on the parallel market.

At the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), naira gained 2.41 percent as the dollar was quoted at N1,278.58 on Tuesday, stronger than N1,309.39 closed on Thursday, the last trading day of March 2024, data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated.

The appreciation of the local currency was attributed to the several foreign exchange (FX) policies implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to boost dollar supply and enhance transparency in the FX market.

On June 14, 2023, the CBN abolished market segmentation and collapsed all into the Investors & Exporters window (Now, Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange); and re-introduced the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller framework, among other reforms.

CBN in August 2023, resumed Forex sales to BDCs but limited the buying and selling spread by BDCs to +/-2.5 percent of the weighted average of transactions executed the previous day on the I&E window.

In January 2024, the apex bank set the Net Open Position (NOP) of banks in Nigeria at a limit of 20 percent short or Zero percent long holding of foreign currency assets and liabilities.

Also, in January 2024, the CBN directed the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to quote an exchange rate for naira payout to beneficiaries based on the prevailing market price.

The banking and finance sector regulator, in February 2024, discontinued any form of cap on the spread on interbank Forex transactions and restrictions on the sales of interbank proceeds. In the same month, the CBN limited the payout of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) to electronic channels only.

According to FSDH Research, the implementation of these measures has eased the volatility of the Naira in the FX markets.

In March 2024, the volatility of the naira was reduced following several reforms by the CBN to improve transparency and inflows into the FX market. On March 28, the NAFEM closing rate was N1309.4, a significant appreciation from a peak of N1,650 on February 26, 2024.

“We believe that the recent FX reforms coupled with high-interest rates and improved oil production will bring stability to the FX market,” analysts at FSDH said.

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Money market

MoneyMaster to promote mobile wallet at Ojude Oba

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Nigeria’s leading payment service bank, MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank Limited (MMPSB) will be at this year’s Ojude Oba Festival to be held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

The Ojude Oba festival is an annual event that typically holds on the third day of the Eid-al-Kabir whereby different cultural age groups put up a spectacular parade to pay homage to the Royal Majesty, the Awujale of Ijebualand.

As a precursor to the Ojude Oba festival, Moneymaster, has embarked on a month-long market activation, engaging indigenes of Ijebuland to onboard them on to one of its digital banking platforms – mobile wallet. With the Moneymaster mobile wallet, customers can transfer, withdraw from an agent, buy airtime and pay utility bills.

During this month-long activation, customers in Ijebuland who open an account stand a chance of winning free airtime amongst other gift items.

According to a statement by the company, the move towards a cashless economy can become a reality when the bulk of Nigerians embrace mobile wallets so as to help them cultivate a more convenient savings habit and also enable them make payment with ease.

“While we rejoice with the people of Ijebuland at this time, we also want to showcase what we have in Moneymaster’s mobile wallet that can help various people to enjoy seamless banking from their phones,” the statement noted.

Moneymaster Payment Service bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and insured by NDIC to promote financial inclusion in furtherance of the Nigerian financial literacy initiative driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

With Moneymaster, Nigerians can open mobile wallets, savings account, individual and business accounts to make payments, buy airtime, and pay utility bills to over 4,000 companies.

MoneyMaster was recently appointed a payment partner to the Ounje Eko initiative by the Lagos State government in its bid to provide discounted food items to residents of the state amidst rising cost of food items. Moneymaster is positioned to support individuals and businesses in their journeys towards financial prosperity by offering bespoke financial services that meet their aspirations.

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Money market

Union Bank Nigeria urges global habitat restoration on World Environment Day

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Union Bank Nigeria Limited has stressed the importance of preserving and restoring the global environment through sustainable practices.

This message was conveyed during an event co-hosted with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in observance of World Environment Day.

A key highlight of the event was a tree-planting exercise involving participants and stakeholders representatives. This activity aligned with this year’s theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” emphasising the need to rejuvenate and restore areas affected by deforestation, erosion, and desertification, both globally and in Nigeria.

During the program, the Head of Citizenship and Sustainability at Union Bank, Patricia Iwhewhe, highlighted the need to protect our environment.

In her words: “Land degradation and erosion are not things stakeholders and policymakers can afford to ignore or gloss over. We all must get involved in helping restore and reclaim parts of our environment badly impacted by deforestation and desertification. Union Bank, as a sustainability champion committed to the preservation of our dear planet, appreciates and recognises the responsibility we have as humanity to look after our environment. We will continue to support and participate in programs dedicated to protecting and enriching our precious habitat.”

The event gathered diverse stakeholders, including environmental rights activists, international partners agencies, corporate bodies, government agencies, and students from selected secondary schools, to discuss and engage in World Environment Day activities.

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Naira depreciates by 0.17% against dollar at official market

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The Naira on Thursday slightly depreciated at the official market trading at N1,476.24 to the dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, revealed that the Naira lost N2.58.

This represents a 0.17 percent loss when compared to the previous trading date on Tuesday when it traded at N1,473.66 to the dollar.

Also, the volume of currency traded reduced to $92.68 million on Thursday down from $385.91 million recorded on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between 1,500 and N1,400 against the dollar.

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