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NAIRA RISES AGAIN: Panic grips forex dealers as Naira appreciates to N385/$
The Naira Thursday appreciated to N385 per dollar in the
Abuja segment of the parallel market, causing panic and confusion among bureaux
de change (BDC) operators.

According to Vanguard’s enquiry, it was revealed that though the exchange
rate of the Naira in the Lagos segment of the parallel market stabilised
between N400 per dollar and N405 per dollar yesterday, the rate in Abuja fell
to a record low of N385 per dollar due to increased dollar inflows.
Confirming this development to Vanguard, President,
Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu
Gwadabe said that appreciation of the Naira to N385 per dollar in Abuja though
a good development is causing panic among BDCs because the CBN presently sells
dollars to BDCs at N381 per dollar, and expects them to sell to the public at
N399 per dollar.
He said the problem now is that customers are using the
Abuja parallel market rate as reference for dollar purchase. They insist they cannot buy at N400 per
dollar when the dollar is going for N385 per dollar in Abuja
, he said.
Explaining why the sharp difference between the Lagos and
Abuja parallel market exchange rates, Gwadabe said: The Abuja market is smaller in terms of demand than the Lagos market,
and it is also dominated by civil servants. Lagos is where most of the demand
is.
This situation, it was gathered has prompted some BDCs to
suspend buying dollars from members of the public while others insist on buying
from the public at N380 per dollar.
However, speaking on condition of anonymity, an Abuja-based
BDC operator, said Nairas appreciation in the Abuja market is due to increased
dollar inflow. He said besides the dollar sales by the CBN, supply has been
coming from people who had hoarded the currency for speculative purposes.

He said: When they
bring such dollars, we refuse to buy from them except they agree to sell at
N380 or below because we knew they had kept the dollars all this while for speculation.

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