The Nigerian naira has hit an all-time low of N530 to a dollar at the parallel market as pressure heightened on the national currency following the controversial suspension of foreign exchange transactions with bureau de change operators, according to data obtained from Aboki FX, a popular forex trading platform.
CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele on July 21 discontinued the sales of foreign exchange to all BDCs across the country. He accused money changers of being a conduit for illicit forex flows and other forms of sharp practices in the financial sector. An association representing the operators denied the allegations.
Mr Emefiele’s action has forced Nigerians who need foreign currencies, especially the U.S. dollar, to run their businesses and cater to other financial needs.
The parallel market which closed at N528 to a dollar Wednesday shot up to N530 as of Thursday afternoon.
Experts have taken divergent positions on Mr Emefiele’s action, with some blaming it on the downward trend of the Nigerian national currency while others said it was a policy needed to sanitise the lucrative black market system.
The government has continued to peg the official rate at $412, raising concerns that bank officials are hoarding dollar allocations for onward sale at the black market at a more lucrative exchange rate. The CBN acknowledged complaints from Nigerians over bankers’ underhand dealings but has yet to fully address the challenge.