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Nigeria records $32.3bn forex turnover in 2021, PoS transactions hit N13.67trn in 3 years - Blueprint newspapers Limited

Nigeria recorded a transaction value of $32.3 billion in forex turnover in 2021 on the Investors and Exporters Window (IE) where forex is sold officially. This is as aggregate transactions on Point of Sale (PoS) hit N13.67 trillion in three years.

Forex turnover at the FMDQOTC represents the total amount bought and sold at the official forex market in Africa’s largest economy.

Foreign Investments in the country have also dropped to multi-year lows with $2.7 billion in the first half of 2021 compared to $7.1 billion in the corresponding period 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, said Nairametrics.

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.

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 IE window was recorded on the 7th of December when the dollar was exchanged for N463.1. On the same day, forex prices closed at N415.07/$.

The lowest exchange rate recorded at the IE 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 forex turnover was recorded.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (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.

Meanwhile, according to data obtained from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc portal there is a progressive transition from cheque transactions to Point of Sale transactions. Between January 2019 and November 2021 aggregate PoS transactions was N13.67 trillion while total cheque transactions within the same period was N10.67 trillion. According to NIBSS, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of instant payments in the wake of government-imposed lockdowns. In 2020, the value of cheque transactions was N3.27 trillion while the value of PoS transactions hit N4.73 trillion. Between January and November 2021, the value of cheque transactions dropped to N2.92 trillion, while the value of PoS transactions increased to N5.73 trillion.