The naira continued its slide at the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) window yesterday, closing at N410 per dollar compared with N407.80 per dollar on Thursday, data obtained from the FMDQ website shows. In recent weeks, the naira has consistently closed weaker against the dollar at the I&E window, thus fuelling speculation that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) could be planning further weakening of the local currency. On December 31 last year, the naira had closed at N410.25 at the I&E window, triggering speculation that the CBN had devalued the local currency. CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said last year that the apex bank will pursue exchange rate unification around the I&E window rate. In a recent report, analysts at FBNQuest forecast an average I&E/NAFEX rate of N419 per dollar at the end of this year
. The analysts said that although they expect: “A combination of higher oil revenue, multilateral loans and Eurobond sales should underpin reserves this year and allow the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to contain naira exchange-rate depreciation, the forecast for average I&E/NAFEX rate is N419 per USD at end-2021.”
The naira was under pressure on the parallel market for most part of 2020 due to foreign exchange scarcity, occasioned by the slump in the price of oil (The commodity that accounts for about 90 per cent of Nigeria’s export earnings). According to data obtained from abokifx.com, the naira traded weaker against the dollar on the parallel market yesterday, closing at N478/$1 compared with N477 per dollar the previous day.
Last Friday, the parallel market rate stood at N473 per dollar. A recent Bloomberg survey showed that investors and analysts expect that the CBN will probably devalue the naira by as much as 10per cent this year. Specifically, Bloomberg reported that: “Of the 17 survey participants, eight forecast a devaluation of between 5per cent and 10per cent this year. Five saw a devaluation of more than 10per cent and the remaining four predicted a markdown of as much as 5per cent.