Naira exchange rate heading to N415 to dollar at parallel market —Dealers

Against the inability of eight out of nine banks banned from the interbank market to resolve  issues with the apex bank and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), over the weekend, currency dealers have said the Naira may be heading to all time low of N415 to a dollar as against N412/$ exchanged on Friday.

The affected banks that are said to be discussing with the central bank for possible solutions are: First Bank of Nigeria Plc, First City Monument Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Heritage Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc and Sterling Bank Plc.

The Nigerian currency on Friday traded at N412 to a dollar as against N407 it recorded on Thursday at the parallel market. It also traded for N530 to Pound Sterling and N455 against Euro, from N425 and N455, respectively on Thursday.

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the market, the naira exchanged at N407, N520 and N450 against N407, N525 and N450 it posted on Thursday, while its spot rate berthed at N314.95 against the dollar in contrast with N338.75 it recorded at the transaction on Thursday.

Currency traders said the market had remained unstable as the directives and counter-directives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on foreign exchange sale was affecting liquidity flow.

Forex dealers, however, said that the renewed pressure on the Naira had more to do with scarcity than the ban placed on some banks.

They also said many dealers and buyers were speculating that the apex bank was showing some desperation in controlling access to foreign exchange and weakening its intervention with supply of foreign exchange to the market, a situation which drove negative sentiments in the market.

Chief executives of the banks have been meeting with the apex bank since Wednesday but no solution was reached as it was learnt that CBN was insisting the banks should return the NNPC foreign exchange deposits to the Treasury Single Account (TSA), before they could be allowed to return to the market.