The Nigerian naira has appreciated marginally against the United States dollar at the unauthorised market on Tuesday, barely 24 hours after President Bola Tinubu met with the acting governor of the central bank, Folashodun Shonubi.
According to information gathered from currency traders across the country on Tuesday, the dollar exchanged against the local unit at N890 to N915 as against the N935.00 to N950.00 range it traded on Monday.
The apex bank, it was learnt may have started demanding operators to submit their operation license as well as other details relating to their operation permits for review.
A BDC operator who spoke on the development stated that the announcement by the acting Governor of the CBN, Folashodun Shonubi has triggered panic across Lagos, Kano, Abuja and other states.
The CBN recently confirmed that there are 5,687 BDCs.
The naira closed N940 to the dollar on Monday but the currency gained N50 on Tuesday to trade at N890 per dollar
Traders on Tuesday attributed the market reaction to the President’s meeting with the CBN governor on Monday.
This, they said, allayed fears among the black market traders who claimed that the government plans to address the country’s currency crisis and stabilise the rate to as low as N750/$1 in the coming weeks.
“We don’t know how the market will close today. We are hearing that the government wants to drop the rate to N750/$1 at the black market,” a dealer at the Abuja Zone 4 axis, said.
The value of the naira has become a major concern for the Central Bank and President Bola Tinubu after it lost over 16 per cent of its value since it was floated in June.
Nigeria’s forex market has less liquidity than demand at the official window and the black market. But the case has become chronic in the black market where it is heading to N1000 per dollar.
But the CBN Governor said the bank does not believe the depreciation is driven by economics. He believes that speculators in the parallel are exploiting the system.
“If you look at the official market, you’ll find that that market has been fairly stable and the spreads of the difference have not fluctuated as much.
“Some of the plans and strategies, which I’m not at liberty to share with you, means sooner rather than later, the speculators should be careful because we believe the things we’re doing, when they come to fruition, may result in significant losses to them.”
A source said BDC operators are holding several meetings over the remark made by the Acting CBN boss.
He said, “The dollar is losing against the naira. Yesterday we sold at N940 and today it has fallen to N915 per dollar. What the CBN governor said has caused serious panic in the market. In fact, BDCs have started holding a series of meetings over the matter.
“The CBN has called some BDC operators over the matter and this is causing panic. From Lagos to Abuja and Kano, operators are panicking. They told operators to submit their licence and other documents relating to transactions.
When CBN began its reform of the foreign exchange market in June, the CBN eliminated the different windows and collapsed them into the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window.
The bank reintroduced the ‘Willing Buyer, Willing Seller’ model at the I&E window, where all eligible transactions can access foreign exchange at their preferred rates”.