It’s a new week and yet more news on the currency crisis Nigeria is facing. Last week the dollar touched N190 in some sections of the black market we track before retreating to between N186 and N187. The CBN has implemented or is implementing several measures to help control the surge in demand but nothing seems to be working just yet. This morning the dollar opened at N181.10 naira to the dollar, 0.6 percent weaker than its previous close and then quickly traded down to N182.25. As Reuters reported, Dealers expect the currency to weaken on Monday, given the level of demand, unless the central bank intervenes or oil companies sell dollars. But that’s at the interbank market. Black Market price this morning was N188 and my sources say they don’t think it will come down at least today.
This makes me wonder how long more the Naira can hold on to trading above N190 considering the huge demand we are still seeing. At this stage I will not bet against a 190 plus exchange rate as no one analysts I have read can pin point exactly why the demand for the green back is so much for the last three months. Agreed, it’s a combination of several factors, from speculators, to holiday makers to politicians, to importers etc. But none exactly to help policy makers tighten lose ends. I also hear the banks are selling PTA (Personal Travel Allowances) at above N180 which is over N10 higher than the CBN’s middle band of N168.
So, could this be the week the naira finally breaks the N190 cycle? Lets hope not.