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Nigeria’s currency, the naira, plummeted to a new low against the dollar, breaching the unofficial parallel market rate on the official exchange platform for the first time. FMDQ Exchange data reveals that the naira stumbled to 1,531 per dollar on Tuesday, closing at 1,482.57—significantly below the parallel market rate of 1,460.
This downturn follows the recent revision of the currency’s closing rate methodology by FMDQ, the market regulator, on Friday. The updated approach incorporates additional data sources and adjusts computation levels, contributing to the naira’s slide.
Naira Plunges by 40% in 2024 Alone as CBN Introduces New Measures
The naira has been facing relentless pressure, experiencing a 40% devaluation since the year’s onset. The official and parallel market rates are converging due to escalating foreign currency shortages, prompting Nigerians to seek alternatives beyond official channels.
Simultaneously, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) warned commercial banks sternly against underreporting financial market transactions, emphasizing the adverse effects on information accuracy, price stability, and market integrity. Any bank found engaging in such practices will face sanctions.
To counter the forex crisis, the CBN implemented new restrictions on banks’ foreign currency holdings, citing concerns about growing forex exposures after the naira’s decline. Banks must now adhere to a 20% limit of shareholders’ funds for short positions and a zero limit for long positions in net open positions. Failure to comply may result in sanctions, including suspension from the currency market.
The CBN released a new circular addressing suspected cases of excessive foreign currency speculation and hoarding from🇳🇬banks
— Olumide Adesina (@olumidecapital) January 31, 2024
The forex crisis poses a serious challenge for Africa’s largest economy, which relies heavily on imports and oil exports. The naira’s depreciation increases the cost of living and doing business in the country and erodes the purchasing power of Nigerians.
As the nation grapples with these economic challenges, stakeholders are closely monitoring developments, and the CBN’s measures aim to restore stability to the forex market and safeguard the nation’s financial integrity.
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