Naira losses more grounds against dollar, trades at N357/1$

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Nigeria’s naira extended its losses against the greenback at the parallel market yesterday, exchanging for at N357 for a dollar as against N350 it traded on Friday.

The local currency however maintains its stability against other currencies like the pounds sterling and euro, trading at N505 and N397 to each of them respectively. Meanwhile, pending the release of modalities for the operation of the proposed flexible exchange rate, the official rate remained at N197 to a dollar.

Traders at the market decried the delay in the release of modalities as proposed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). They expressed optimism that a flexible exchange rate would rejuvenate the market.

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“More speculators are taking a position in the market, causing dollar scarcity and fall in the value of the local currency,” said Aminu Gwadabe, head of the bureaux de change operators association.

Last month, the Federal Government said fuel importers were now to get dollars from the parallel market to help ease acute shortages – likely to result in increased demand for dollars, and more pressure on the naira, as importers increased their orders.

On the official interbank market, the naira is quoted at 197.50 to the dollar, near the official peg rate of 197 to the dollar.

However, currency traders said they are hopeful the central bank will soon release the details of the new flexible exchange rate. “Banks are already calling the central bank to get clarity on the next move concerning the naira exchange rate, our expectations is that the bank will over the next few days provide some form of clarification on the next step on the naira.