Naira falls to N370 per dollar, foreign reserves down by $1.14b
The fall in the value of the naira is yet to abate as the local currency exchanged for N370 to a dollar yesterday at the parallel market.
It was observed that the fresh pressure on the naira since last week Thursday has seen the currency fell further from N318 to N370 to a dollar, an additional N52 margin.
While the Bankers Committee meeting held in Abuja last week Thursday was considering the inclusion of medical tourism and school fees payment abroad in the prohibition list, TheCable colloquium in Lagos, had some of its participants supporting the policy, as well as opposing devaluation.
Meanwhile, the foreign exchange reserves have fallen to $27.81 billion from $28.95 billion in barely six weeks, representing a decline of $1.14 billion. The Director of Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, said the reserves would have decreased to about $20 billion, but for measures adopted.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while in London, said that his government decided to stop the sale of foreign exchange to bureau de change operators because of fraudulent acts perpetrated by some top officers of the CBN. According to him, some directors of CBN own bureau de change and when foreign exchange comes, they take it to their companies and give government the change.
But the Acting President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, told The Guardian that there is high-level leakages in the system, causing the pressure, adding that devaluation is not totally the answer.
He said government should put mechanism in place to ensure that whatever item everyone demands the dollar for, is actually imported and that quantity declared, alleging that some importers are also involved in the round-tripping.
According to Mu’azu, the renewed pressure in the market could be attributable to announcement effect and CBN is very much aware of the market development and has been responding accordingly, raising hope that as much as foreign exchange earnings improve, market interventions would also increase.