Nigeria central bank injected $210 mln into currency market

LAGOS, April 24 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s central bank said on Tuesday it had injected $210 million ito the interbank foreign exchange market, extending efforts to improve liquidity and alleviate dollar shortages.

The bank said in a statement it had released $100 million earmarked for the wholesale market, $55 million for small businesses and individuals, and $55 million for certain dollar expenses such as school fees and medical bills.

It said it was “ready to inject funds into the market, whenever and wherever necessary, in order to maintain market stability as well as sustain the financial system”.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, fell into recession in 2016 largely because of low crude oil prices. Lower oil revenues led to foreign currency shortages because crude sales are the country’s main source of dollars.

It emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017 as crude prices recovered and militant attacks against Niger Delta oil production facilities ended. However, it has maintained a system of multiple exchange rates in an attempt to reduce pressure on the local naira currency. (Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram Editing by Alexander Smith)