(Adds central bank statement details, quote)
LAGOS, April 3 Nigeria's central bank said on
Monday that it had offered $150 million in currency forwards, as
it sold dollars to try to narrow the spread between the naira's
official and black market exchange rates.
Earlier, currency traders said the forwards had been offered
to be settled within 60 days. The bank also said on Monday, in
an emailed statement, that it had released $90 million to meet
requests for dollars to pay some expenses, such as medical and
school fees, and to cover travel allowances.
"In a bid to further ease the access of customers, the CBN
[Central Bank of Nigeria] has also directed all banks to pay
cash over the counter to desiring foreign exchange customers,"
the central bank said in its statement.
The local currency was quoted at 395 to the dollar on the
black market on Monday, against 390 at close on Friday.
The naira has weakened on the black market since Friday even
though the central bank has said it will sell dollars to bureau
de change operators to support the value of the naira.
(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Oludare Mayowa and
Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Larry King)