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Naira slumps to N595/dollar amid forex shortage

THE naira slumped further and exchanged to the dollar at 595 on Friday at the parallel market.

Some Bureau de Change operators who spoke with our correspondent said the dollar was bought and sold at 585 and 595 on Friday.

On Monday, the naira was exchanged at N590 to a dollar.

At the Investor & Exporter forex window, the naira fell by 0.20 per cent to close at N419 after reaching a high of N444 on Thursday.

A total of $108.24m turnover was recorded at the end of trading at the I&E window on Thursday.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, however, maintained N415.69 as the official rate on its website on Friday.

The CBN stopped forex allocation to the Bureau de Change operators in 2021 and later announced it would stop further interventions to the banks by the end of 2022.

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria had solicited the CBN’s support in ensuring that Bureaux De Change operators continued to sell dollars to the retail end of the market.

In a notice to its members nationwide, ABCON National Executive Council, appealed to the regulator to revisit the stoppage of dollar sales to BDCs to bring lasting stability to the naira.

The group disagreed with claims that the naira had remained largely stable and converging following the stoppage of dollar allocation to BDCs.

However, as long as forex scarcity continued in the country, experts have said further interventions by the CBN in any sector would be a mirage.

Earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and Bankers’ Committee had launched a programme tagged ‘RT200 FX Programme’ to boost forex supply in the country through the non-oil sector in the next three to five years.

Emefiele said, “After careful consideration of the available options and wide consultation with the banking community, the CBN is, effective immediately, announcing the Bankers’ Committee ‘RT200 FX programme’, which stands for the ‘Race to $200bn in FX repatriation.’

“The RT200 FX Programme is a set of policies, plans and programmes for non-oil exports that will enable us to attain our lofty yet attainable goal of $200bn in FX repatriation, exclusively from non-oil exports, over the next three to five years.”

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