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Nigeria central bank floats embattled naira currency

Nigeria central bank floats embattled naira currency

Analysts have called this a "semi-float" since the Central Bank still plans on holding on to the official exchange rate of N199 per U.S. dollar for funding "critical transactions". He has said a devaluation was tantamount to 'killing the naira'.

Inflation in Nigeria rose to a more than six-year high in May, official figures showed Tuesday, heaping pressure on the government to loosen restrictive currency controls.

Emefiele said the bank will operate a single trading window, which will take off on June the 20th, adding that the CBN will only step in from time to time regulate the market. As oil prices plummeted, so did the country's foreign currency earnings, meaning there was less cash to pay for imports. This means that people who want to make payments for school fees, business, tourism, medicals, holiday and other bills will not be able to buy at 199.

The NBS attributed the rise to "an overall increase in general price level across the economy", which has been battered by the global fall in oil prices since mid-2014.

But that policy led to widespread shortages of raw materials, machine parts, and supermarket products.

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He said the new mechanism would enable businesses plan their portfolio effectively without fear of losses as a result fluctuation in exchange rates. On occasions they were paying nearly double the official rate for dollars.

For instance, during the resumption of schools overseas, affected Nigerian parents will demand for Dollars thereby leading to an increase in the exchange rate of a Dollar to the Naira. And that will hurt tens of millions of Nigerians who live in abject poverty. Nigeria's central bank has no target for the naira, he said.

Companies have suffered from the crisis, being forced onto the black market to pay for imports of goods and equipment.

A number of foreign airlines recently stopped their flights to Nigeria after they were unable to repatriate up to $600m (£417m) in ticket sales, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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