The Naira fell to a new low of N265 on Wednesday after the Central Bank continued to ration supply of the dollar to Bureaux de change (BDC) operators. According to reports from Reuters, CBN cut the amount available to each of the 2,270 operators who participated in the weekly sale to $10,000 from $30,000 sold to them last week.
The CBN’s stringent controls is on the back of the external reserves which officially stands at about $29.4 billion. Bureaux de change operators are now being made to declare usage of all the dollars sold to them, a move that is aimed at detecting any unofficial round tripping.
The current depreciation of the Naira is unlikely to abate any time soon as domestic demand for dollars is not being shut out completely of supply. Nigerians looking to travel abroad have found it almost impossible to lay their hands on dollars via the PTA or BTA options with bank and other currency operators unable to fill that demand.
This had made people to rely heavily on a black market that has also been starved of funds. Some analysts believe Nigerians may at some point be forced to curtail their demand for dollars and foreign goods if things continue this way. International travel abroad is expected to take a hit this holiday season if things continue to be this tight.