Nigeria’s central bank paid about $2 billion of the amount it owed lenders to settle matured foreign-exchange contracts, Thisday newspaper reported.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The central bank made the overdue payments over three months, and they include $61.64 million to settle part of outstanding liabilities owed to foreign airlines with operations in the country, the Lagos-based newspaper reported, citing the bank.
Government officials estimate the amount of overdue forward payments at about $6.7 billion.
This day puts the figure between $7 billion and $10 billion, without citing sources.
The amount includes at least $744 million owed to foreign airlines as of March last year, according to the International Air Transport Association.
The inability to clear the backlog has weighed on the naira, which has lost more than 50% of its value since it was allowed to trade more freely against the dollar in June last year.
The payment signals the central bank’s commitment to clearing all overdue obligations to reduce the pressure on the naira, according to the newspaper.
Checks on Friday in Abuja showed that limits for across-the-counter withdrawals in most commercial banks ranged from N10,000 to N20,000 and the highest, N40,000.
Two first-generation banks in Area 7 and 8, Garki, while the ATMs were without cash, across-the-counter withdrawals were limited to N20,000.
In the same area, a check on second-generation banks branches also in the same area showed that the ATMs were empty while across-the-counter withdrawals were limited to below N10,000 and below N20,000 respectively.
Bank ratio cash
Findings revealed that banks across the country have continued to ration cash withdrawals in the banking halls and through their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) while Point of Sale Operators, PoS, operators, have taken advantage by hiking transaction fees by not less than 100%.