4 March 2016, ABUJA (TSR-Xinhua) – A total of 20 billion U.S. dollars is found to be idle in some domiciliary accounts of Nigerian citizens, a development which suggests sabotage as local currency continues to fall against dollars since the start of this year, a top official with the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.
Joseph Nnana, a deputy governor of the apex bank, said in a statement Friday that the idleness of dollars in domiciliary accounts in various banks across the country was part of the reasons why naira, the local currency, has continued to slide against the U.S dollar.
Noting the increasing pressure on the naira is caused by high demand for the dollar by importers and speculators, the central bank top official said those who speculate on dollars will soon “have their fingers burned”.
To end the weakness of the local currency, he said the apex bank plans to embark on an aggressive liquidity mop-up to enable the naira regain confidence.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria will not sit down and watch the consistent fall of the naira,” he added.
The naira had depreciated by over 13 percent for weeks. Almost two weeks ago, the situation got worse with the naira further enfeebled to 345 against the dollar at the parallel market.
However, the Nigerian apex bank has left its official rate unchanged at 197 to the dollar on its inter-bank window.