Naira slips against dollar at official, black markets

Naira weakened against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, depreciating 0.11 per cent at the official market.

According to data published on FMDQ websites, where forex is officially traded, the naira closed at N446.00 per dollar on Wednesday with $145.89 million recorded as forex turnover within the business day.

The domestic currency touched an intraday range of N447.00 (low) and a high of N435.00 per dollar before closing at N446.00 per $1 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the naira exchange rate in the open market has been hovering within the rate of N760.00 and N780.00 to a dollar fortnightly. Although this is about 14.0 per cent appreciation from the N880.00 and above rate it was exchanged after the CBN announced the naira redesign initiative.

Checks with currency dealers on Wednesday showed an unauthorised market rate closed between N766.00 and N770.00 per $1 across states on Wednesday.

Currency dealers at the Abuja Zone 4 market said they bought a dollar for N770.00 and sold at N773.00 and above on Wednesday, as against N765.00 it traded on Tuesday.

Also, at the Uyo Udi street market, currency dealers said the dollar was exchanged at N766.00 and sold at N773.00 per $1.

While the spread between the official and unofficial market is still at large, recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said a unified and market-clearing exchange rate remains critical to enhancing confidence.

Amidst lingering foreign exchange crises in Nigeria, both foreign and domestic investments especially in the aviation sector have declined due to inability to repatriate their funds and easy access to the hard currency at reasonable rates.

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This has triggered a significant surge in the amount of foreign airlines funds trapped in the country.

“Continued FX shortages, a stabilised exchange rate regime, rising inflation, limited debt servicing capacity, and administrative restrictions on current transactions fuel devaluation speculations,” the IMF said in a statement last week.

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