Finance

Naira slumps further, exchanges 1,190/$

Naira exchange rates January 2024

The naira has maintained its downward trend as scarcity of the dollar bites harder, findings by The PUNCH have revealed.

At the parallel market, naira commenced trading at 1,175/$ and closed at 1,190/$ on Friday.

Two weeks earlier, the naira had traded at 1,100/$ at the parallel market.

It, however, appreciated slightly on the Investor & Exporter forex window after it sold at 808.28/$ at the close of trading on Friday, from 810.05/$ on Thursday, according to figures obtained from the FMDQ.

Some Bureau de Change Operators who spoke to The PUNCH noted that the dollar was scarce as many did not have forex to sell to customers.

A BDC operator, Jubril Mutiu, said, “On Friday, the price was 1,175/$, but we don’t even have it. It is not available right now.”

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Another BDC operator, Adamu Afeez, said, “We are looking for those to sell to us, but now, we don’t have the dollar to buy. If we don’t have one, we cannot sell.”

Another BDC operator, Ibrahim Abu, said, “We sold for 1,175/$ in the morning till afternoon on Friday. By 2 p.m., it was already selling for 1,190/$. It has been fluctuating. I don’t know what the rate will be on Monday.”

The naira had continued to maintain devaluation following the CBN’s order to the lending institutions to allow the free flow of the country’s exchange rate in June.

Before floating the naira, it traded at the official market on the FMDQ at 471.67/$ and at the parallel market at 765/$ in June.

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The President,  Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, Dr Aminu Gwadabe, said achieving stable, strong and virile exchange rate in Nigeria would require full participation of BDCs in the retail segment of the forex exchange market.

He said the challenges confronting the nation’s forex market and depreciation of the naira required cooperation from all.

The BDCs, he said, were licensed to play at the retail end of the forex market and should be fully involved in providing lasting solutions to the ongoing volatility in the exchange rate.

Gwadabe said, “The continuous depreciation of the naira in official and parallel markets does not benefit the BDCs and the domestic economy. Hence, steps should be taken to reverse the trend and strengthen the local currency for maximum economic impact.”

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He said several measures by the apex bank to bridge the exchange rate gaps showed genuine intentions of the regulator to entrench exchange rate stability, but getting the BDCs involved in the solution recipe would bring the desired results of a highly liquid market and stable rates.

Gwadabe said that, like every other market segment, the market’s illiquidity remained a significant concern to the BDC sector.

He said aside from illiquidity in the market, ABCON was unhappy with the unlicensed forex dealers who were at the centre of speculative activities and attracting a negative image to the sub-sector.

Punch

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