‘CBN worried about boosting dollar supply, not valuation

The. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is worried about boosting dollar supply on the currency market and not valuation of the naira, its director of monetary policy Hassan Mahmud said on Tuesday.

The naira hit a record low of N532 to the dollar on the unofficial or black market on Monday, with dollars hard to come by following the central bank’s recent actions to channel demand from the unofficial market, where the naira is trading at much lower levels.

“We are not really bothered much about valuation. What we are worried about is the supply side and the confidence in the system,” Mahmud told a virtual investor conference.

Nigeria is battling dollar shortages brought on by low prices following disruptions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central bank has devalued the currency three times since March 2020, but the naira has continued to weaken.

In June, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, said Nigeria’s spot naira rate was overvalued by up to 10 per cent, citing the bank’s real effective exchange rate model.

Mahmud said the level of the naira is expected to adjust based on demand but that market failures had made the bank adopt a managed float regime.