Nigeria’s currency Naira on Thursday dropped slightly at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) foreign exchange window at N 360.75 against N360.56 traded on Wednesday, data obtained from the FMDQ OTC has showed.
The autonomous FX window, had opened trading at N360.20, the same rate recorded on Wednesday before settling at a weaker closing rate compared to the previous day. Although, it traded high at N361.50. 50, which was not different from Wednesday figure.
But the fourth consecutive days now, the Nigerian currency, Naira has been trading fat at N364 to the US Dollar at the unofficial foreign exchange market.
The Daily Times checks showed that the Naira, on Thursday, remained unchanged against the three major foreign currencies, Pound sterling and Euro, to close at N488 and N434, respectively at the parallel segment of the forex market.
But the local currency at the inter-bank (official) market stabled at N305.70 against 305.75 to the dollar settled at the close of yesterday trading activities.
Meanwhile, the African Development Bank Group, (AfDB) has stated that it expects a stronger naira in 2018, just as it applauded the measures taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure price stability.
The multilateral institution stated this in its African Economic Outlook released yesterday.
On the country’s macroeconomic position, it stated: “Fiscal policy remained expansionary in 2017 as in 2016. Although total spending as a percentage of GDP declined from 13% in 2014 to 10.3% in 2017, revenues declined more sharply, from 11.4% to 5.6%.
“The budget deficit was estimated at 4.8% in 2017, up from 4.7% in 2016, and is projected to improve to 4.3% in 2018 and 4.1% in 2019, as revenue performance improves. At 14%, unemployment remained high in 2017, the same as in 2016, and is expected to decline only slightly in 2018, to 13.5%, as recovery eases production constraints in manufacturing and agriculture.”
Also, it expects monetary policy in Nigeria to remain contradictory in 2018.
It added: ” The policy rate has been kept at 14% since July 2016 to support the naira and control inflation. Inflation has remained stubbornly high and in the double digits—an estimated 16.2% in 2017, up from 15.6% in 2016—but is projected to ease to 13.7% in 2018 and 12% in 2019.
“Foreign currency liquidity has improved following the introduction of administrative measures by the Central Bank since early 2017.
“The measures include a trading window for portfolio investors at market determined rates and the introduction of the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing, which allowed commercial banks to quote forex rates that are close to parallel market rates. The naira remained stable for most of 2017 and is expected to strengthen slightly as the economy continues to recover.”
Also on economic performance and prospects for Nigeria in 2018, it noted that the economy would continue to show signs of recovery from the 2016 recession.
It stated: “GDP growth was estimated at 0.8% in 2017, up from –1.5% in 2016. The outlook beyond is positive, with growth projected at 2.1% in 2018 and 2.5% in 2019.
“This outlook is anchored in higher oil prices and production, as well as stronger agricultural performance. Oil prices rebounded to an average of $52 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2017 and are projected to reach $54 in 2018, up from $43 per barrel in 2016.
“Oil production also increased from 1.45 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.03 million in the third quarter of 2017 following the escalation of hostilities in the delta region and is expected to remain at the same level in 2018 and 2019, in tandem with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC) production restrictions.”