The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has pledged to provide financial support to sustain the Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange reforms in addition to investing in the revamping of Nigeria’s refineries.
This comes as the Naira on Saturday continued to depreciate for the fourth day running at the Parallel Market, ending its short-lived gain of last week, by exchanging at N1,150/$1.
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammad Idris in a statement Friday said the Saudi Crown Prince, HRH Mohammed bin Salman made the promises to assist Nigeria at a bilateral meeting with President Bola Tinubu on the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa Summit in Riyadh.
Idris, who attended the bilateral meeting, explained that as part of the support for the ongoing CBN reforms of the country’s foreign exchange regime, Saudi Arabia, which is the world’s largest producer of crude oil, will also make available a substantial deposit of foreign exchange to boost Nigeria’s forex liquidity.
The statement read: “The Crown Prince expressed the eagerness of Saudi Arabia to ensure the economic prosperity of Nigeria under President Bola Tinubu, and realize its full potential as the economic giant of Africa.
“In addition to these, they also highlighted agriculture and renewable energy as major areas of investment interest for Saudi Arabia, in Nigeria, to help the country attain food and energy security, respectively.
“The Saudi authority hinted that the refinery investments in Nigeria will be led by the Saudi state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco, with the revamp to be completed within a two- to three-year timeframe.
Prince bin Salman commended the economic reforms being implemented by President Tinubu, and expressed the commitment of the Saudi government to supporting these reforms, and enabling Nigeria to reap the full benefits.
“Prince bin Salman also expressed appreciation to Nigeria for its active participation in and support for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of which Nigeria is a key member,” said the minister in the press statement.
In his remarks, President Tinubu thanked the Saudi Prince for the proposed investments, while pledging that Nigeria would ensure judicious management and oversight.
The two leaders expressed commitment to working together over the next six months to develop a comprehensive road-map and blueprint to deliver on the agreed investments and outcomes.
In the same vein, both Tinubu and Prince bin Salman expressed the need to strengthen security cooperation to mitigate terrorism, illegal migration and other crises, not just in Nigeria, but across West Africa and the Sahel region.
They discussed existing economic and socio-cultural cooperation between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, and agreed to open new vistas in bilateral relations.
Meanwhile, the Naira on Friday continued to depreciate for the fourth day running at the Parallel Market, ending its short-lived gain of last week, by exchanging at N1,150/$1.
The Nigerian currency staged a big recovery last week following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s commencement of the clearance of some of its FX backlog, marking a pivotal effort to alleviate the mounting pressure in the foreign exchange market. It closed at N950/$1 at the parallel market on November 3.
The downturn in the Naira’s value in the parallel market this week coincided with a notable revelation in the aviation sector, where foreign airlines, represented by the International Airline Operators, disclosed that nearly 90 percent of their unrepatriated funds, amounting to $783 million, remain unpaid.
Simultaneously, a commendable appreciation occurred at the official market within the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, closing at N780/$1 making a commendable ascent from its frightening closure at N996.75/$1 on Thursday.
Conversely, the parallel market witnessed the Naira depreciate to N1,150/$1. This movement marked a marginal decline of N70 in comparison to its valuation of N1,080/$1 on Thursday.
A comprehensive week-long analysis of the parallel market, November 6 to 10, revealed a significant depreciation. Commencing on Monday at N1,000/$1, the market witnessed an upswing on Tuesday to N990/$1. However, the trajectory changed on Wednesday, influenced by reports of trapped funds from foreign airlines, leading to a depreciation that slid the exchange rate to N1,020/$1.
Thursday experienced a further decline to N1,080/$1, culminating in yesterday’s pronounced depreciation to N1,150/$1.
Concurrently, an in-depth examination of the official I&E window depicted a nuanced pattern. Initiating the week at N808, it surged on Tuesday to N869.91, stabilized on Wednesday at N874, underwent a substantial depreciation on Thursday to N996, and ultimately took an appreciative turn, culminating in a closing rate of N780 Friday.
With this disparity between the official and the parallel market, the arbitrage gap is now N370.
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