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Friday, February 17, 2017

Dollar scarcity widens ...now exchanges for N516


The naira appears to have entered a free fall mode with the local currency selling for 516 per United States dollar on the streets of Lagos as at today Friday. Currency dealers on the streets of Lagos Island sold the greenback at 516 and bought same for 513. In Egbeda, a major black market centre in Lagos, the naira was sold for 516 and bought at 510. At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the dollar was bought on the parallel market for 516 and sold at 513.

On Wednesday, the local currency had closed at 507 against the greenback as acute dollar shortage continued to weigh on the currency market. The local currency traded at 507/dollar on Monday and Tuesday on the black market. Experts are divided over the outlook for the naira this year. However, some analysts have predicted that the local currency will take further beating against the dollar this year.

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said the local currency would hit 520/dollar this year on the parallel market and touch 350/dollar at the official market. An economic expert, Mr. Henry Boyo, has predicted that the naira will hit 1000/dollar on the parallel market this year if the Central Bank of Nigeria fails to review its monetary policy framework.

The naira continues to trade flat at the official interbank window at 305.5 to the dollar. Traders said demand pressure was mounting on the black market but dollar supply had not significantly improved, suggesting further depreciation of the local currency might be coming.

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