Naira Hits New Low of N545 Against Dollar in Black Market

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Emefiele

The Nigerian naira extended losses on the black market on Friday to hit a new record low of N545 against the dollar, as individuals scramble for hard currency, Reuters reported.

The currency has been hitting new lows on the unofficial market, with dollars hard to come by, following central bank actions to channel demand from the black market, where the currency is trading much more weakly.

It hit a low of N540 in the previous black market session on Thursday.

“Liquidity is very tight,” one trader said.

Traders said demand from individuals with dollar expenses is rising, fueling the currency weakness on the unofficial market.

Nigeria is battling dollar shortages brought on by low oil prices following disruptions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central bank has devalued the currency three times since March 2020, but the naira has continued to weaken.

A central bank director said on Tuesday the bank is worried about boosting dollar supply on the currency market and not the valuation of the naira.

The naira NGN= traded at N410 per dollar on the official spot market on Friday, in the range of N407 to N412 where it has been since June.

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