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Naira slumps further to 473 as dollar scarcity persists

By The Citizen
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The naira weakened further against the dollar to 473 on Thursday from 470 the previous day, as fresh dollar scarcity continued to hit the official and parallel foreign exchange markets.

This came just as experts and market players said the naira would depreciate slightly further in coming weeks at both the official and parallel markets on the back of gradual increase demand for forex by small businesses stocking for the Christmas and New Year sales.

The CBN and the Federal Government have made several efforts to stabilise the naira and reduce forex scarcity. Many of the measures have, however, failed.

Security agents have been raiding the offices of Bureau De Change operators, ordering them to sell dollar at a lower rate in a bid to break the fall of the naira.

The local currency had appreciated to around 450 after security agents carried out series of raids on the BDC operators, who sold the greenback above the N400 stipulated by the CBN.

However, the naira started recording losses again as scarcity of the greenback weighed on the forex markets.

'The clampdown on the black market operators by security agents has negatively impacted dollar supply to the market,' one BDC operator told Reuters.

Economic and currency experts have said getting security agents after the BDC operators cannot get the ailing naira to stabilise.

At the official market, the naira closed at 305 against the dollar on Friday, the level it has closed since August.