Naira depreciates to it’s lowest level 48 years, trades at 545/$ in parallel market

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The Nigerian naira depreciated to its lowest level in 48 years, trading between N540 and N545 to a US dollar in Lagos on Thursday.

Parallel market and bureau de change (BDC) traders in Lagos said the naira was falling rapidly against the greenback.“For people that don’t buy today, it will be more expensive tomorrow,” Ibrahim Ahmad .“The dollar was going for N530 earlier today, but now it’s N545, if you’re buying anything below $1,000.”

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Another trader at Lagos Island, who asked not to be named, said he does not understand the reason behind the sudden drop.“We felt N530 was the worst we would see this year, but look at us selling at N540, and there’s no obvious reason for this shift,” he said.“Maybe when people hear this and hit the market with dollars, they’d be an adjustment”

The British pound was trading at N740 across the same markets.The Central Bank of Nigeria said in July that it would no longer sell forex to BDC traders.The apex bank has said repeatedly that the parallel market is not a true reflection of the naira.Deposit money banks were commissioned by the CBN in August to cover for the expected demand following its policy change.

Insiders at the CBN said the bank was not going to change its decision about not selling forex to the BDCs.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is working with the CBN to rein in on banks who are found selling forex for unauthorised reasons.

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