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Naira drops to N487/$1 on parallel market

The naira continued its downward slide on the parallel market yesterday, dropping to N487/$1 from N484/$1 at the weekend. Data obtained from “Abokifx,” a website that tracks forex rates on the parallel market showed that although trading had opened earlier in the day with the naira at N483/$1, it depreciated against the greenback to close at N487/$1.

The naira has been under pressure on the parallel market since the beginning of the year, 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).

However, after rebounding from N477 per dollar to N440/$1 in early September, following an announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it would resume the sale of dollars to Bureaux De Change (BDCs) on September 7, the naira gradually weakened to between N460/$1 and N463 per dollar on the parallel market.

The CBN had in March suspended its weekly sale of forex to the BDCs due to the suspension of international flights and other coronavirus containment measures announced by the Federal Government.

Analysts attribute the naira’s recent weakening to the yearly Christmas season import bill pressure, which usually starts around this time of the year and disappears in January. A forex dealer, who did not want to be named, told New Telegraph that despite the CBN’s interventions in the official forex window only very few importers are able to access dollars, thus pushing them to the parallel market and increasing demand for forex in that segment of the market.

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