The naira is seen depreciating further and may hit the 500 mark to the United States dollar at the parallel market next week as the greenback scarcity persists and the Central Bank of Nigeria cuts supply to foreign exchange operators.
The local currency was trading around N495 to the dollar on the black market on Thursday, compared to 485 per dollar last week due to dollar shortages, traders said.
The naira was quoted at 310.5 to the dollar on the official interbank window on Thursday by commercial lenders.
“There is an acute shortage of dollars in the market because of supply being slashed by half to Bureau de Change operators from international money transfer agents, pushing the naira down,” one trader said.
The BDC operators are now getting $8,000 each per week from Travelex against the usual $15,000 each per week.
The naira had tumbled against the dollar to 490 on Monday from 487 last Friday, as acute shortage of the greenback continued to batter the economy and the country’s foreign exchange markets.
Before falling to 487 last Friday, the local currency had consecutively closed flat at 485 for four days in the previous week.