July 4, 2016
CSEA Annual Report
The Naira strengthened against the dollar in the review week. Specifically, the Naira appreciated by 2.7 percent to N355/$ (parallel market rate) on June 17, 2016, following the release of the flexible FOREX policy guidelines by the CBN on June 15, 2016. The new policy effectively adopts a single market structure hosted at the autonomous/inter-bank market. The inter-bank trading scheduled to commence on June 20, 2016 will be market-determined, officially eliminating the N197/$ peg. To ensure foreign exchange liquidity, primary market dealers have been introduced while the CBN will participate in the market through periodic interventions.
Recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that the value of capital imported to Nigeria declined by 54.34 percent; from $1.56 billion 2015Q4to $710.97 million in 2016Q11. This is the lowest value since the data was first released in 2007. Huge declines in Portfolio Investment (71.54 percent) and other Investment (44.84 percent) were the major drivers of the trend within the period. A myriad of factors have contributed to the decline in investments. The plunge in crude oil prices, and the resultant negative signals on investors confidence, was a key factor. This was exacerbated by the FOREX restrictions and delays in the assentation of 2016 Appropriation Bill. While the slight increases in oil prices and the recent signing of the budget into law could improve the general economic prospects, monetary authorities need to proffer solutions to the negative effects of the current FOREX restrictions on investments.