Nigeria’s naira opened at 500 per dollar on the black market on Monday, 39 percent weaker than on the official market, where the central bank has been selling the greenback to support the local currency. It, however, remained stable at the Bureau De Change segment of the market exchanging at N399/dollar, with the pound sterling and euro closing at N617 and N527, respectively. It also remained stable at the interbank window exchanging at N305.25 to a dollar. Traders at the market said that the scarcity of the greenback was far from being over.
In spite of the weekly sale of forex to BDCs by the apex bank, the naira could not resist the temptation to fall. The parallel market, which was declared illegal by the BDCs, no longer responds to rising foreign exchange reserves, depreciating even as the external reserves appreciate. The forex exchange reserves have gained more than $2bn in 2017, rising to $28.2bn on February 2.
The naira has been hovering near the 500 level for the past two weeks as the central bank continues to ration dollar supply on the official market with demand rising.
On the official market, the naira has been trading at 305.25, a level it has been trading at since last August.