Naira nose-dive to 480/dollar

naira, dollar, U.S currency, sell, parallel market
Local and foreign currency

The naira nose-dive further against the greenback to a new record low of 480 on Thursday, down from 472 it recorded on Wednesday.

The naira had continued its two-week free fall on Monday, closing at 445 to the dollar after tumbling to 439 on Friday.

On Tuesday, the currency closed at 452 to the dollar. Also on Tuesday, the external reserves hit an 11-year low of $24.61bn.

“Dollar is very scarce in the market right now because many people don’t know how low it will fall in the near term, so people are holding on to their hard currencies in order to watch the direction of the market,” one dealer said.

After trading between 423 and 425 for several weeks, the naira plunged to 428 last Wednesday. This came a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Monetary Policy Committee retained the lending rate at 14 per cent contrary to calls by the fiscal authority, economists and stakeholders.

Analysts have dismissed that recent declines had links to the MPC decision to retain the lending rate at the current rate.

However, at the interbank market on Thursday, the naira closed at 305.31 to the dollar, up from 312.99 on Wednesday.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadabe said that the planned commencement of distribution of forex by Travelex could not hold due to some bottlenecks.

Travelex, an international money transfer organisation, ought to have begun the distribution forex to the BDC operators on Monday.

Its intervention was postponed to Wednesday, but again, it could not hold.

A currency analyst at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said, “The rising exchange rates we are seeing at the parallel market now are not realistic. They have to do with the activities of speculators.

“However, we cannot rule out the fact that there is an acute and chronic shortage of FX; there is a genuine demand that the supply cannot match simply because inflows have dropped significantly.”


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