Naira Further Crashes as Dollar Sales to BDCs Fluctuate

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Wednesday saw a continued decline in the value of the Naira, both in the parallel and official markets. This depreciation was fueled by renewed speculation and hoarding, exacerbated by some Bureaux De Change (BDCs) withdrawing from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) dollar sales program.

Despite efforts to curb street currency trading, the Naira’s value dropped to N1,435 per dollar in the parallel market, compared to N1,415 per dollar the previous day.

In the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), it depreciated to N1,421.06 per dollar.

Data from FMDQ revealed a significant depreciation of N4.49 for the Naira, with the indicative exchange rate falling to N1,421.06 per dollar.

Consequently, the gap between the parallel market and NAFEM rates widened to N13.94 per dollar.

To address this, the CBN resumed dollar sales to BDCs in February, aiming to stabilize the retail forex market.

However, BDC operators have voiced complaints about the slow disbursement of dollars from the CBN, which takes three to four weeks between payment and receipt.

Due to these delays and market uncertainty, some BDCs have requested refunds from the CBN for their Naira payments.

Top BDC operators, speaking anonymously to Vanguard, confirmed this trend, noting that some BDCs have already received their refunds.’

Speaking to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, the Chief Executive of a BDC said, “I think the CBN is overwhelmed. You pay money and it takes one month for you to collect $10,000. It is over a month now since they intervened and they have not intervened again.

“Even the last one that they did some BDCs are just collecting the dollars. Some are even saying they should return their money. They are asking for a refund because there are many challenges. Some have paid but their name is appearing in another location which makes it impossible to collect the dollars. Some are getting their refund but it is a very slow pace too.”

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Also speaking on condition of anonymity, another BDC operator said, “There is no supply. The CBN supply is slow. They sell one tranche for one month. It is too low. If they don’t have the money they should tell us we don’t have the money.”


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