The naira is yet to gain any strength against the dollar in the black market. Instead, the situation gets worse by the day.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s checks revealed that the naira was quoted at N375 on the black market on Sunday, July 31, 2016, against the dollar as delays by the Central Bank of Nigeria in explaining how its new forex policy would work actually increased speculation on the currency.
The US dollar and the two other top currencies Pounds sterling and Euro have become very scarce to come back at the black market now.
According to the Bureau de Change operators ENCOMIUM Weekly spoke to this explains the reason the exchange rate at the open market keeps skyrocketing. They, however, appealed to the CBN to relax on its rule that has stopped selling foreign exchange to money changers as that has increased the rate at which people engage in panic buying which in turn led to scarcity of dollar in the market at the moment.
‘Everything is just boring’ -NASIR MUSA
I don’t know what to say about the market situation now. Everything is just boring. Most people don’t have access to dollar and other foreign currencies as before. Now, only very few people patronize us. The flow in the Bureau de Change here has reduced because of scarcity of dollar and pound sterling. The Central Bank of Nigeria is not releasing these currencies since there has been change of policy.
Most of us you see here at times, go home with nothing. We’re only begging the CBN to make dollar available so that we can go back to our former status. One US dollar now is about N370 and we sell it N375 or N378. Dollar is very scarce now. That’s why it’s costly. It’s even inching to the same price as euro. Only few of our old customers still patronize us with the little they have now. We’re only trying to cope with the difficult situation because we don’t have alternative.
‘It keeps fluctuating’ – HABEEB ADAMU
Exchange rate can’t be stable again because every day, the market situation changes. You can’t predict the exchange rate. It keeps fluctuating and I don’t think it can come down to as low as N300 to a dollar this year. Now, I sell my dollar N370 because I also buy it for N365. It’s only N5 gain per dollar. And you’re not sure of trading with 2,000 dollars per day as it used to be.
Dollar was everywhere during the elections but since Buhari took over, it has become scarce. Now, the CBN’s policy doesn’t help us at all because most people can’t have access to dollar again.
‘The business is not moving fine’ -ISAH HARUNA
The business is not moving fine at all. Everything is dull at the moment. If not that I don’t have alternative, I should have quit. Selling dollar, pound sterling and euro is not easy this time around. The CBN is not releasing much of these currencies again. So, that makes it difficult for those of us in the business to have access to them. Now, I buy a dollar at N370 and sell it for N375, one euro is N380 and I sell it for N385 while I buy one pound sterling for N480 and sell it for N485. These currencies are very scarce in the market now, it’s only very few people that patronize us now. The current policy doesn’t favour the trade. We’re all struggling to survive. It’s not in our interest that a dollar sells even above N200 but we can’t help the situation. And the way things are going, it may be very difficult to even get dollar in the market because it’s the most demanded out of the two most traded currencies.
If care is not taken, a dollar will get to about N400 before the end of the year.
‘Things are very difficult at the moment’ -AUDU ADAMU
I don’t understand the market situation again. It’s unpredictable. Most of us just keep coming back every day without much ado. We find it difficult to eat three square meals now. Things are very difficult at the moment. A dollar is not less than N370 if you want to buy but if you’re selling it, customers find it difficult to pay N400 which to me is profitable. But when you don’t have a choice, you give it out at the rate of N373 or at most N375. I think something urgent has to be done because naira has really gone down and it will continue like that till the end of this year. Initially, we all hoped that there will be more dollars in circulation together with other top currencies including pound sterling and euro before the end of first quarter of this year. Instead, the whole thing was mopped up with the flexible rate without these currencies in circulation
Many people think we’re making much profit because the exchange rate is high, no. that’s not true. We only make more profit when there is flow of the currencies and not restricted by the CBN.