For more than two weeks, the Nigerian currency, Naira, seems to have found a resting place to the greenback on the parallel market as it been as revolving around N320 per dollar with little or no indication of appreciation or depreciation.
Operators of bureau de change (BDC) who spoke to our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday said the market has been sluggish in the last three weeks but the development of the last two weeks has stabilised the rate at N320 to a dollar.
Market watchers, however said this is showing no signs of upward or downward movement. “We are currently selling for N320 to the dollar and N355 to the pound,” a trader said on Wednesday in Lagos.
The situation is the same in Abuja as some currency traders said their rates have remained flat too.
A trader, Jubril Mohhamed, who operates in Lagos, Abuja and Kano, told our correspondent on phone that the situation in Lagos is the same in Abuja and Kano.
His words: “The nair is just resting at N320, and trading slowly here in Lagos and Abuja. We hear that the dollar may fall. They said CBN is sharing dollars for some banks, so we are expecting the dollar to fall.”
It was revealed on Monday, that the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) had allocated $921 million to commercial banks in foreign exchange obligations.
This was expected to impact the market positively, but little or no changes were experienced at the parallel market, as the 320 sales prevailed.
Following strict capital controls, against the wishes of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Nigerian foreign exchange regime has continually grown a wide margin.
The official side of the market is trading at N197 to the dollar, while the parallel market is trading at N320, about N123 higher than the official side.
Another trader, Musa Kabir, said the wait by some of his colleagues for the CBN to give more dollars to the banks may be endless as it appears that the bank is calculating its steps not to go against the directive of the Federal Government.
“We were told last week and early this week that the CBN will be allocating dollars to commercial banks. As far as I am concerned, I am not sure if this has been done because we cannot see the result of the money in circulation”, said Kabir.
Investigations by our correspondent, however, revealed that activities of forex dealers in neighbouring countries have also been affected by the stable rate and that the pressure of transactions that was seen about two months ago had reduced.