Naira may hit N600/$ over CBN’s suspension of dollar sales – Currency traders

Naira continues free fall against U.S dollar

Some currency dealers have responded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday’s decision to halt the sale of dollars to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

Traders, who spoke to Ripples Nigeria on the CBN’s decision, said they expect the market to respond and devalue as it did in 2016 and 2017 when a similar decision was announced by the apex bank.

When CBN restrained the BDCs from selling dollars five years ago, the Naira/$ exchange rate increased from about N300 in the black market to N400 for the first time.

This time the operators are suggesting the exchange rate in the parallel market will hit N600/1$ over increasing pressure on demand in the coming days.

“I can assure you of changes in the coming months. I don’t see how the CBN will meet up the size of demand outside the official market,” one of the traders told Ripples Nigeria on condition of anonymity.

Nigeria understands that CBN sells about $110 million to BDCs every week to meet the demand for personal and business travel.

However, it seems the apex bank has this sorted out as the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that going forward, banks would reorganise their operators to cater to customers who patronise BDCs.

He also urged banks to meet genuine demand as soon as possible.

“There is nothing that BDCs do that banks cannot do better. 6,000 BDCs add little or no value to the market today,” Emefiele added.

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