Recent Operational Changes to the Foreign Exchange Market by the Central

Recent Operational Changes to the Foreign Exchange Market by the Central Bank of Nigeria


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plays a crucial role in managing the country’s foreign exchange market, ensuring stability, and facilitating economic growth. As with any dynamic market, operational changes are often implemented to adapt to evolving economic conditions and achieve desired policy objectives. In this blog post, we will explore the current operational changes made by the Central Bank of Nigeria to the foreign exchange market.

1. Introduction of the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX):

One significant operational change implemented by the CBN is the introduction of the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX). This market-based exchange rate system aims to improve transparency, promote price discovery, and enhance the efficiency of the foreign exchange market. NAFEX allows for a more market-determined exchange rate, reducing reliance on administrative measures.

2. Unified Exchange Rate:

To streamline the foreign exchange market and eliminate multiple exchange rates, the CBN introduced a unified exchange rate system. This change aims to promote greater transparency and reduce distortions in the market. The unified exchange rate enhances foreign exchange liquidity and improves investor confidence, facilitating economic growth and attracting foreign investments.

3. Forex Restriction on Importation of Certain Goods:

To manage the demand for foreign exchange and conserve Nigeria’s foreign reserves, the CBN implemented forex restrictions on the importation of certain goods. This measure aims to prioritize critical sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and healthcare, ensuring that foreign exchange is allocated to sectors that contribute to domestic production and economic development.

4. Direct Intervention in Priority Sectors:

Recognizing the importance of certain sectors for Nigeria’s economic growth, the CBN has increased its direct intervention in priority sectors. This intervention includes targeted allocation of foreign exchange to industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, and SMEs. By providing adequate foreign exchange support to these sectors, the CBN aims to stimulate production, create employment opportunities, and reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

5. Strengthening Compliance and Surveillance:

The CBN has also intensified efforts to strengthen compliance and surveillance mechanisms in the foreign exchange market. This involves increased monitoring of banks and other financial institutions to ensure adherence to regulations and prevent illicit activities such as money laundering and round-tripping. By promoting a transparent and well-regulated market, the CBN aims to foster investor confidence and maintain the stability of the foreign exchange market.


The Central Bank of Nigeria has implemented several operational changes to the foreign exchange market, reflecting its commitment to achieving stability, transparency, and economic growth. The introduction of NAFEX, the unified exchange rate system, and forex restrictions on certain goods highlight the CBN’s efforts to align the foreign exchange market with market forces and prioritize sectors vital to Nigeria’s development. These changes, combined with increased intervention in priority sectors and enhanced compliance and surveillance, contribute to a more efficient and resilient foreign exchange market. As Nigeria continues to navigate global economic challenges, these operational changes provide a solid foundation for sustainable growth and prosperity.

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