After rebounding to N406.50 per dollar on Thursday, the naira yesterday closed at N411/$1 at the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) window, FMDQ data shows. In fact, the local currency had yesterday opened at a new record low of N412.50 per dollar before closing at N411/$1. 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 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.” Meanwhile, the naira was stable at N480 per dollar on the parallel market yesterday, according to data obtained from abokifx.com.