Banking & FinanceBusiness

Dollar scarcity drives Naira further down at black market

The currency, however, managed to scrap meagre gain at the official Nafex window.

Naira weakened significantly against the U.S. dollar at the black market on Monday, as it touched an all-time low of 527.

The local unit, which closed at N524 per $1 at the previous session on Friday, started the new week at N527 to a dollar, according to, which collates parallel rates in Lagos.

The currency has struggled to maintain gain since the Central Bank of Nigeria in July suspended sales of foreign currencies to Bureaux De Change operators. The bank accused the BDCs of fraud.

In the last one week, Naira declined at a faster pace as the currency weakened on most of the trading days.

Shaibu Isah, a currency trader at Udi street of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, attributed the plunge to the CBN’s decision.

“The CBN are the ones making the naira-dollar exchange rate rise. We are all struggling to get the dollar now. Nobody is regulating the market. Traders hustle to get their dollar and sell at the rate that suits them,” Mr Isah said.

Another trader at Abuja who identified himself as Nasiru said the rate rose because they could not get dollars.

The move is likely to push prices of goods and services higher at a time of high inflation.

Most Nigerian businesses and travellers source forex from the streets after CBN placed restrictions on transactions that can qualify for official sales of foreign currencies.

The currency, however, managed to scrap meagre gain at the official Nafex window on Monday, according to the FMDQ Security Exchange window where forex is officially traded showed.

According to the data published, the local unit closed at N411.63 per $1, a N0.37 or 0.10 per cent appreciation from the N412.00 it recorded in the previous session on Friday last week.

It hovered between an intraday low of N413.00 and a high of N400.00 before closing at N411.63 on Monday.

The spread between the both markets (Official and unofficial) is pegged at N115.37 as of the close of business on Monday.

This leaves a margin of 22.00 per cent between the both market segments rate on Monday.

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