THE Nigerian naira plummeted to a record low of N325 to the dollar at the parallel market on Thursday as desperate importers scrambled for dollars to meet their obligations overseas.
The local currency had closed at N318 against the greenback on Wednesday, after plunging N313.5 and N310 on Tuesday and Monday, respectively.
“The dollar is falling because importers need forex to bring in their goods. They cannot keep on folding their arms because there is scarcity; they must keep buying; the only thing is that the quantity may reduce,” a forex dealer told our correspondent under condition of anonymity.
The CBN has left the official exchange rate unchanged at N197 to the dollar on its official interbank window.
“We see the naira falling further in coming days if the central bank fails to lift the dollar restriction,” the Acting President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadabe, said.
President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned that further depreciation will hurt poor Nigerians, but the CBN’s refusal to revise the pegged exchange rate has widened a chasm between official rate and the parallel market.
Nigerian apex bank, the central bank halted dollar sales to the Bureau D’Change (BDC) operators and allowed commercial banks to accept dollar deposits, in a failed effort to shore up dwindling foreign reserves.
Around 90 per cent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings come from crude oil exports, but mismanagement of the refineries means the country must also import expensive refined fuel.