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Nigerian Central Bank Blasts Naira Devaluation Report — Publication Stands by Its Story

Nigerian Central Bank Blasts Naira Devaluation Report — Publication Stands by Its Story
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said on June 1 that the report claiming it had devalued the local currency to N631 per dollar “is replete with outright falsehoods and destabilising innuendos.” The Nigerian publication Daily Trust has said it stands by its story and called on the central bank to provide facts to disprove its report.
Central Bank Says Report Contains ‘Destabilising Innuendos’
The Nigeria central bank has rejected reports it had devalued the local currency to 630 per dollar and branded the report in the Daily Trust “fake news.” In a statement issued shortly after news of the naira’s supposed devaluation went viral, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) insisted that the report “is replete with outright falsehoods and destabilising innuendos.” The apex bank claimed that the report also exposes the authors’ “potentially willful ignorance” of how the Nigerian foreign exchange market works.
The CBN ended its statement by revealing that the naira to U.S. dollar exchange rate at the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) window on the morning of June 1, 2023, was N465 per dollar. In contrast, dealers on the black market were said to be offering as much as N740 for every dollar. As has been reported by News, the gap between the rate offered on the official market and the parallel market has widened over the past few years. According to a report, the parallel market rate was at one point almost twice the I&E rate.
Some Nigerian and foreign economic experts have said the CBN’s current exchange rate overvalues the naira by as much as 20%. Others like Tatonga Rusike, a Bank of America economist, predicted that the CBN would eventually devalue the naira’s exchange rate versus the dollar by as much as 20%.

Publication Says Its Story Is Based on Facts
Meanwhile, in its earlier report that prompted the CBN’s furious response, the Daily Trust said the CBN had on May 31 sold U.S. dollars on the I&E market at the rate of N631:USD1. The report insinuated that the devaluation may have been sanctioned by the country’s new president Bola Ahmed Tinubu. In his inauguration speech less than 48 hours earlier, Tinubu hinted that his administration would move to unify the naira’s multiple exchange rates.
— Daily Trust (@daily_trust) June 1, 2023

However, after the central bank issued its terse statement which also questioned the publication’s professionalism, Daily Trust said in a tweet that it stood by the story. The publication insisted that the story “contains three facts and one interpretation.” One of these according to Daily Trust is the fact that the CBN “sold dollars to banks on behalf of their customers at the said rate [N631:USD1]” on May 31. President Tinubu’s call for the unification of the naira exchange rates as well as his meeting with the CBN governor on May 30 are the two other uncontested facts, the publication said.
Besides rejecting the central bank’s fake news label, Daily Trust also said it had evidence to back its claims that the CBN had used a different exchange rate on the day in question. The publication said the onus is on the CBN to “provide any facts to the contrary.”
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