The foreign exchange crisis in the country worsened on Thursday as a dollar exchanged for over N970 at floated exchange market.
Survey at popular black markets in Lagos indicated that a dollar exchanged for between N1,000 and N1,050 in the early hours of Thurday before settling for N990 in the evening, indicating a difference of N252 from the Investors & Exporters FX window, where the naira closed at N738.In Eastern Nigeria , a dollar exchanged between N970 to N990 Friday morning.
The gap between the official and parallel market has steadily widened, since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced unification of all segments of the foreign exchange markets in June.
However, despite the unification policy, the parallel market has continued to witness patronage due to the scarcity of the greenback at the official market, according to operators.
“There is scarcity at the market,” a Forex Dealer in Main market Onitsha to BVI Channel 1 Reporter.
“We are now buying dollars for N970 but earlier in the day, it was sold for N990” he said.
“When there is scarcity, the dollar will go up against the naira but we are not happy. We should pray that it will come down because this is not good,” he said.
Meanwhile,Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Adebayo Olawale Edun, has attributed the naira’s incessant decline to approximately $6.8 billion in overdue forward payments within the foreign exchange market.
He insists that addressing this issue is crucial for stabilizing the local currency.
He clarified that the resolution of these unpaid contracts could fortify the naira’s value and open avenues for additional foreign exchange inflow.
Over the course of several months, the Nigerian naira has been on a consistent downward trajectory in terms of its value.
In the currency exchange parallel market yesterday, it neared the threshold of 1000 naira per US dollar.
This depreciation can be attributed to the insufficient supply of dollars by the central bank to this particular market.
Maureen Okafor Reports for BVI Channel 1 online