The fall in the value of the naira is yet to abate as the local currency exchanged for N385 to a dollar yesterday at the parallel market. 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.
The currency, however, remained stable at the official interbank foreign exchange market as the interbank rate closed N199.34, yesterday. A pound sterling now exchanges for N505 in the parallel market. The sharp depreciation of the naira in the parallel market this week is driven by increasing demand by importers sourcing dollars to pay for imports from China.
A Bureau de Change (BDC) operator said: “You know China had been on its one month annual holidays. But they resumed work on Monday, and people have to complete payment for goods ordered before the holidays.
They had made 30% down payment to order the goods and they now have to pay the 70% balance otherwise they will lose the 30%. That is why they are desperate and ready to buy dollars at any rate. Meanwhile, supply is scarce and those who have dollars are not willing to sell because they might also need the currency soon.”….. thank God it hasn’t fallen to N390 to a $…..