SPECULATORS and forex traders still have the upper hand as the naira struggles to appreciate against major currencies in the black market, two clear weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria backed the new policy of banks rejecting deposits into domiciliary accounts.
The move – meant to discourage using Nigeria as the den of money launderers and corrupt officials – has hardly recorded any success. The proceeds of crime, kept in foreign currencies, has sabotaged government’s policies.
And on Monday, August 17, 2015, the naira showed little sign of apprecia-tion against major foreign currencies in the black market.
The dollar exchanged for N221, the pounds N335 and euro N235.
The earlier appreciation of the Naira when the policy was announced on the weekend of July 31 by banks, and supported by CBN on Wednesday, August 5, 2015, was soon to be eroded.
The dollar, which had reached N245, nosedived to N205. But it soon began a gradual appreciation against the naira, now settling at N221.
Hope that the naira will appreciate to about N200 to the dollar in the black market (closing the gap of the official exchange rate at N196-199) was quickly dashed.
Those who enjoy the proceeds of crime, money launderers and speculators, fought back by arbitrarily fixing the rate in the black market, and frustrating CBN’s agenda.
The battle to save the naira from saboteurs appear to be failing, in spite of all the measures to strengthen it.
From removing about 41 items (cement, poultry, wheel barrows, among others) from accessing forex officially to stoppage of deposits into domiciliary accounts, not much gain has been recorded.20