In 2021, the Investors and Exporters Window (I&E), where currency is formally sold, recorded a transaction value of $32.3 billion in forex turnover.
This is based to statistics on the FMDQOTC compiled daily by Nairalytics, Nairametrics’ research arm, for the previous two years. The total amount bought and sold at the official forex market in Africa’s largest economy is represented by forex turnover at the FMDQOTC.
Since Covid-19 induced a reduction in oil prices and insured an outflow of currency from financial markets, the Nigerian economy has faced forex shortages.
Foreign direct investment into the country has also fallen to multi-year lows, with $2.7 billion in the first half of 2021 compared to $7.1 billion in the same time of 2020.
Between July 2020 and June 2021 (one year), Nigeria attracted only $5.3 billion as capital inflows compared to over $16.3 billion in the corresponding period ending June 2020.
While this reflects the effect of Covid-19 on the economy critics blame this more on central bank policies that have had a negative effect on foreign investor confidence.
Last year, we also saw the central bank kick out BDC operators from the fx markets, thus reducing dollar suppliers to retail investors.
Nevertheless, this failed to tame a runaway black market that depreciated to as high as N580/$1 at some point during the year.
Controlled Official FX Rates
Throughout the year, the central bank controlled forex prices flexing their muscle as the largest supplier of forex in the market. Here are some stats;
The highest exchange rate at the I&E window was recorded on the 7th of December when the dollar was exchanged for N463.1. On the same day, FX prices closed at N415.07/$.
The lowest exchange rate recorded at the I&E window was N350.27 posted on the 11th of January 2021. The rates however closed at N393.33/$1 on the same day.
Finally, on the last day of the year, the exchange rate closed N435/$1. The highest and lowest rate traded on the last day of the year was N445.6/$ and N400/$1 respectively.
In terms of forex turnover, the highest daily trade during the year was recorded on the 1st of September 2021 when $486.31 million in FX turnover was recorded.
The CBN is expected to continue its policy of price control at the official NAFEX market.
This suggest the disparity between the official and black market rates remains high at over N130/$1.
The CBN’s attempt to unify the exchange rate was not complete. However, last year was the closest year to unifying the exchange rate especially after the CBN adopted NAFEX as its official rate.