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ABUJA May 4 A recent rise in oil revenues has
helped the central bank to defend the naira and stabilise the
parallel market foreign exchange rate, central bank governor
Godwin Emefiele said on Thursday.
Nigeria has suffered from dollar shortages as a slump in oil
revenues has hammered the currency and dried up supplies of the
greenback on official channels, forcing traders to pay a premium
on the parallel market.
"The market is stabilising at the level that it is right now
and I am saying the parallel market (is) currently stabilising
at between 380 and 385 naira (a dollar)," Emefiele said after
meeting President Muhammadu Buhari.
The naira was quoted on Thursday at an investor trading
window at 382.14 per dollar, data from market regulator FMDQ OTC
Securities Exchange showed. The official market rate was 305.20
and the black market rate 391.
"Revenues are looking good, the state of the economy is good
and I believe that we are going to pull out of the problem in
due course," Emefiele said, talking about the foreign exchange
The central bank earlier lifted a ban on currency allocation
for importers bringing in goods worth up to $20,000 per quarter,
according to a circular seen by Reuters on Thursday.
The bank in 2015 placed a restriction on 41 items for which
importers could no longer get dollars, including rice,
toothpicks, cement, private jets, steel products, plastics and
rubber, soap, cosmetics, furniture, Indian incense and foreign
Nigeria introduced capital controls in 2015 after a sharp
fall in oil prices caused chronic dollar shortages, weakened its
currency and slashed government revenues, tipping the economy
into its first recession in a quarter of a century last year.
It subsequently introduced and then abandoned a currency peg
and now uses a system of multiple exchange rates which the bank
says help it manage "frivolous" dollar demand.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by