Monday’s stoppage of foreign exchange sales to Bureau De Change operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria failed to lift the naira on Tuesday as the currency exchanged for 300 against the United States dollar in Kano, 290 in Lagos and 292 in Abuja.
Financial experts said the naira would decline further, while private sector operators described the move as a welcome development.
The ban was announced on Monday, when naira trading at 285 against the dollar at the parallel market from 278 on Friday.
The Acting President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said that the currency traded against the greenback at 300, 290 and 292 in Kano, Lagos and Abuja a day after the CBN announcement.
“There is cut of (dollar) supply to the market. The BDC sub-sector has been murdered. We are not coping. The naira is going to head northwards. There is no solution in sight,” Gwadabe lamented.
The Head of Investment Research, Afrinvest West Africa Limited, Mr. Ayodeji Ebo, said the stoppage of forex sale to the BDCs meant that the CBN wanted everybody to apply to the banks for dollars.
He stated, “But we feel the pressure now will move from the BDCs to the parallel market. We will see significant spike in the value of the naira at the parallel market because the little supply to the BDCs have also helped to cushion the demand at the parallel market.
“It will further compound or increase the spread between the parallel market and the interbank market. So, it will also increase round-tripping and unethical practices within the financial system.”
On the lifting of the ban on cash deposits into domiciliary accounts, Ebo said, “I am still sceptical about how this will work except they are also assuring us that if you deposit it, you can consummate business with it.”
A professor of financial economics at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Leo Ukpong, said, “I don’t think the stoppage of dollar sale to the BDCs will solve the problem. The currency will depreciate some more.
“This move will make the naira to weaken more as demand for dollar will skyrocket because of the short supply.”