As the scarcity of the United States dollar continues to hamper the importation of petroleum products by marketers, the Central Bank of Nigeria has asked banks to submit bids for a “special currency auction.” The auction is targeting fuel importers to meet demand for matured letters of credit, Reuters quoted traders as saying.
Traders said the CBN sent a message to the banks on Monday to submit backlog dollar demands from fuel importers by 3.00pm for a special intervention. Fuel shortages often occur in the country during festive periods such as Christmas and Muslim holidays. Traders said the government wanted to ensure that fuel retailers had enough products, so it was channelling dollars to them and also to avoid shortages, which in May crippled banking, airline and telecom services.
The country consumes 45 million litres of petrol a day, or roughly 280,000 barrels, which will require the market to provide some $18m a day.
In the same vain, CBN has debunked its former Governor and now Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II claim last week that the Federal Government, under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had overdrawn on its account with the apex Bank to the tune of N4.7 trillion.
Supporting its defence with data, the CBN, also the banker to the government, insisted that government still had a net balance of over N1.19 trillion in its Treasury Single Account (TSA) and declared Sanusi claims as “totally false and wholly fabricated.”
TSA is a financial policy introduced by the federal government in 2012, to consolidate all inflows from the country ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) by way of deposit into commercial banks, traceable into a single account at the CBN.