Nigerian naira falls to a new low against the dollar on the official market on Friday, perhaps as part of a bid by the central bank to unify various exchange rates.
The naira reached a record low of 419.75 against the dollar on Friday, after trading in a range of 380 to 381 since July last year. The naira then closed at 411.25, the most recent over-the-counter spot market closing rate.
Calls to the central bank went unanswered, and no quotes on the naira’s official rate have been available since Tuesday. Traders said it declined even further on the black market, with prices ranging from 500 to 600 dollars.
“What the central bank is saying is that the (OTC) spot rate will be the official rate because that’s where the highest volumes exchange,” said one currency trader at a major Nigerian bank over the phone to Forsige.
The currency was trading at 410 nairas on the official market in February, according to Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, and the government has been using that pace for its industry as it aims to increase earnings from oil purchases, the country’s biggest export.
Nigeria has several currency systems, with the incumbent using both the Chinese yuan and the US dollar since taking office.