The nation’s currency, the Naira dropped by N5 at the parallel market to close at N475 against the dollar, compared to N470 to a dollar it traded at on Wednesday, but on Thursday gained slightly at the interbank market to close at N312.63 as against the N315 it was traded on Wednesday,.

 

The naira, at the unofficial market also fell against the Pound Sterling as it closed at N580, losing a whopping N15, compared to N565, while the Euro closed south at N500 shedding N5 as against N495 it traded the previous day.

 

The Nigerian currency at the CBN official rates on Thursday dropped to N305.00, against N304.50 5 it traded on Wednesday.

 

At the Bureau De Change (BDC) window, the Naira was sold at N400 CBN controlled rate, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N565 and N500, respectively.

 

Traders said that dollar scarcity persisted in the market as dealers seek more unconventional ways of meeting the needs of their customers.

 

The parallel market had been in the eyes of the storm as security agents were on the lookout for currency traders.

 

The apex bank gave a nod to the ongoing crackdown on currency traders at its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Tuesday.

 

Since the battle line had been drawn between the security agents and traders, dollar scarcity was expected to persist along the frontiers of the parallel market.

 

According to currency traders, the uneasy calm in the market had prevailed due to the raid by officials of the Department of State Security in some parts of the country.

 

Officials of the DSS raided the parallel markets in Lagos, Abuja and Onitsha last week over alleged arbitrary sale of forex.

 

But unfortunately, the raid has worsened dollar scarcity, forcing the naira to settle at N475 to a dollar.

 

However, the Central Bank of Nigeria has endorsed the crackdown on parallel market forex traders.

 

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, November 22.

 

According to Emefiele, foreign exchange regulation in the country forbids trafficking in currency.

He said that the SSS had the right to enforce the law and make sure that currency hawkers were forced out of the “illegal trade.’’

 

The governor, who said it was demeaning for traders to hawk currency on the streets, urged the traders to legitimise their business by applying for Bureau De Change (BDC) license.

 

The apex bank, however debunked the report that it is planning to amend the Foreign-Exchange Act to provide for the imprisonment of anyone who holds foreign currencies, particularly the United States dollars, for more than 30 days, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it has nothing to do with such legislation.

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