BY Aderemi Ojekunle
The naira has dropped to N525 to a dollar at the parallel market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) discontinued the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operators in the country.
The local currency, which opened today’s trading at N505/$1, lost N20 or 3.9 percent, according to data on abokiFX.com, a website that collates parallel rates in Lagos.
At the importer & exporter (I&E) window, it traded moderately to close at N411.60 per dollar.
The CBN governor said BDC operators have become agents of money laundering in Nigeria.
He said the CBN would channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate FX demands and mandated banks to sell forex to every customer who meets requirements.
But a top insider at CBN told TheCable that the apex bank may be unable to meet requests of banks to serve all customers as mandated.
The source added that the apex bank allocates about $20,000 weekly to each BDC operator in the country – amounting to $5.72 billion yearly to the parallel market.
“Commercial banks come with bids of $1.3 billion fortnightly, and CBN cannot provide more than $250 million,” the source had said.
The latest development is also coming amid plunging external reserves and diaspora remittances.