The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cancelled importation of US Dollars and all foreign currencies due to the seemingly dollarisation of the economy.
On Tuesday, CBN stated that the move was part of its resolve to save the naira as well as the economy from external threats and dominance.
A statement from CBN’s Deputy Governor in charge of Economic Policy, Mrs. Sarah Alade, reiterated that at the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, member of the committee had expressed concern over the strong foreign exchange demand from domestic sources, which according to her, were not linked to increase in the import of goods and services.
She explained: “The CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and his team decided to take immediate action to safeguard the naira and ensure its stability.”
Alade disclosed that the MPC also observed the surge in United States dollar cash importation by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and the subsequent sale of huge amount of the greenback to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators.
CBN last week, revoked the operating licence of 20 BDCs that were alleged to have purchased and sold huge sums of United States dollars with no documentation to show details of the transactions.
It was revealed that Nigeria currently ranks as the largest importer of US dollars in the world.
As stated by Alade, if the trend was not contained, it could pose grave threats to the value of the naira as well as the Nigerian economy.
Meanwhile, trading at the Retail Dutch Auction System (RDAS), which was re-introduced by the central bank last week following the suspension of the Wholesale Dutch Auction System (WDAS) will commence tomorrow.
RDAS would only allow bank customers buy forex at CBN through their banks.