Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, has announced on Tuesday that the federal government had instructed the Central Bank to eliminate currency black market, where foreign currencies fetch more naira than the official rate.
“The CBN has promised to do something by putting a system in place to eliminate the black market because it’s damaging the economy,” Ms Adeosun told a conference in Abuja.
The naira currently trades about 40 per cent below the official rate against the dollar. The central bank scrapped a 16-month-old peg of 197 naira to the dollar in June, but it continues to trade in the official market, so that the naira remains far stronger against the dollar there than on the parallel market.
The government has repeatedly blamed the black market for damaging the already shaky economy.
A CBN spokesman, Isaac Okorafor, said the Central Bank was working towards “ensuring that the forex market operates as effectively as we would envisage”.
He said the aim was to “ensure there is no black market” but did not give details of how this would be achieved.
The naira has traded around 305.5 naira to the dollar on the official interbank market since August, while it was quoted at 487 to the dollar on the parallel market on Monday.