For the second consecutive day, the naira has firmed up against the dollar. It is currently trading at N470 to the dollar.
The naira, which had previously exchanged at N500/$, strengthened after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) relaxed the rules on foreign remittances and domiciliary accounts.
In a November 30 circular, the apex bank directed that beneficiaries of diaspora remittances and foreign exchange transfers into domiciliary account should be allowed to receive such inflows in foreign currency.
The circular, signed by O.S. Nnaji, director of trade & exchange of CBN, said recipients of such remittances may have the option of receiving such funds in the foreign currency cash or into their domiciliary account.
“These changes are necessary to deepen the foreign exchange market, provide more liquidity and create more transparency in the administration of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria,” the statement read.
“In addition, these changes would help finance a future stream of investment opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora, while also guaranteeing that recipients would receive a market reflective exchange rate for the market.”
The apex bank also noted that beneficiaries shall have unfettered access and utilisation to such foreign currency proceeds, either in cash and or in their domiciliary accounts.
Under the new guidelines, operators of export domiciliary accounts will continue to operate based on existing regulations which allow account holders use their funds for business operations only with any extra funds sold in the import and export window.
Also operators of ordinary domiciliary accounts where accounts are funded electronically or wire transfer would be allowed unfettered and unrestricted use of these funds for eligible transactions. And where accounts are funded by cash lodgments, existing regulation will continue to apply.