Nigerian companies have devised a smart way of circumventing central bank guidelines to sell forex in the official market but at black market rates.
On February 2022, the central bank launched its RT 200 program aimed at raising over $200 billion in forex over the next “3-5 years” from exporters. The program is aimed at non-oil exporters who export semi-finished or finished goods and repatriate the funds via the importers and exporter windows.
To encourage participation in the market, the CBN offers companies who repatriate their forex for third-party usage an additional incentive of N65 for every dollar repatriated while those who sell for their own usage get N35 for every dollar sold.
However, sources with knowledge of how the policy is being implemented suggest some of the companies who participate in the policy have found a way around selling at black market rates but still pocket the CBN incentives.
Companies Circumvent CBN’s RT 200 To Sell Forex At Black Market Rates
Several sources who spoke with newsmen, suggest the companies repatriate the forex into the official Investor and Exporter window, collect their incentive but still end up collecting the differential between the official and black market rates (“the spread”) outside of the window.
Nigeria’s exchange rate has depreciated by over 25% in the last one year as a slew of CBN policies fail to bridge the gap between the parallel and official exchange rates.
When the CBN introduced the RT 200 policy in February this year, the exchange rate was N580/$1. About nine months down the line, the exchange rate has depreciated to N710/$1.
Companies have resorted to the black market or at least paying the black-market rates because of the spate of scarcity.
According to several sources who asked not to be named for fear of being victimized, suggest that the companies paying above the official rate, are more comfortable buying in the I&E window due to the authenticity of the source of inflow even if it means paying an extra spread.