As currency tumbles on street, Nigerians expect official rate to follow

Jan 27, 2016 Nigerian importers have recently experienced a hike in prices after the Nigerian currency lost a third of its value on unofficial markets.

Despite the naira plunging on the street, the official exchange rate is yet to budge.

According to business owners, the widening gap between the official rate and the parallel rate is making it hard for them to keep their enterprises running.

Speaking on the situation, Chioma Oluwaseun, a trader said:

“With the exchange rates, with the economy so far now, it’s not really helping us because the exchange has really gone high and with the goods we have now people are not really responding,”

Commercial banks have been running out of hard currency, forcing importers to tap into the parallel market, where a dollar costs 305 naira, compared to the official rate of 198.

Commenting on the scarcity, Chucks Okonkwo, another trader said:

“You cannot even get hard currencies such as the dollar, euro or pounds,”

Meanwhile, the central bank’s reluctance to let the official exchange rate fall is making investors reluctant to put money into the country, because they assume the currency will be devalued soon.

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