Naira Loses N33 to Trade at N1,615/$1 at Official Market

February 28, 2024
paying remittances in Naira

By Dipo Olowookere

It was a bad day for the Naira in the official market, the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), on Tuesday as its value weakened by N33.00 or 2.09 per cent against the United States Dollar to sell at N1,615.94/$1 compared with the previous day’s N1,582.94/$1.

This came on a day the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Yemi Cardoso, reemphasised that the Nigerian currency was grossly undervalued.

While briefing newsmen yesterday on the outcome of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, Mr Cardoso stressed that the current rate was not the true value of the local currency at the FX market.

Data obtained by Business Post from the FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that the forex turnover for the trading session remained unchanged at $154.16 million as the central bank makes efforts to make the market wet with Dollars to boost the value of the domestic currency.

Also, in the parallel market, the Nigerian Naira depreciated against the Dollar yesterday by N80 to quote at N1,600/$1, in contrast to the preceding day’s value of N1,520/$1, as forex traders on the streets transact business in fear due to the recent clampdown on them by security officials led by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The peer-to-peer (P2P) segment of the FX market was also not spared by attempts by the federal government to prohibit trading, particularly through a well-known cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance.

At the P2P window on Tuesday, the local currency lost N16 against the greenback to trade at N1,659/$1 versus the 1,643/$1 it was transacted a day earlier.

Mr Cardoso, during his chat with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, claimed that about $26 billion passed through Binance in one year from unidentified sources, expressing deep concerns over the effect of this on the nation’s FX market and economy.

 “We are concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows, going through a number of these entities and suspicious flows.

“In the case of Binance, in the last year, $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify,” he said.

This may be an indication that the Nigerian government will ban crypto trading again just a few months after it lifted an embargo on the market.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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