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    Naira Falls To 375 Against Dollar, Economists Seek Policy Change

    Economists on Wednesday advised the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to review their policies and introduce measures that would turn around the dwindling fortunes of the nation’s economy.

    They spoke against the backdrop of the persistent fall of the naira against the dollar, with the local currency exchanging for 375 against the greenback at the parallel market on Wednesday; the imminent economic recession; and the spike in inflation to 16.5 per cent in June.

    The Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, who noted that the global fall in crude oil prices had made the nation’s oil revenue to nosedive, said there was a need for the Federal Government to seek foreign exchange from alternatives sources in order to cover for the shortfall.

    He said Nigeria and its economic managers could not afford to fold their arms and allow the situation to get worsened. Rather, he said efforts must be geared towards implementing policies that would fight negative growth and inadequate liquidity at the interbank market.

    Meanwhile, the naira tumbled further against the dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday and closed at 375, down from 368 on Tuesday.

    Foreign exchange dealers said the lingering scarcity of forex at the interbank market was shifting dollar demand to the black market.

    The local currency had lingered between 346 and 348 at the parallel market before tumbling to over 360 this week, following the total floating of the naira by the CBN on Friday.

    The local currency, however, eased slightly against the dollar at the official interbank market and closed at 294.23 on Wednesday, up from 294.87 on Tuesday.

    Dealers said the local currency was stuck at 294.23 after just one transaction was carried out, with the supply of dollars drying up and no intervention by the CBN, Reuters reported.

    However, the National President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Aminu Gwadabe, said the naira was not sustainable at 375 to the dollar at the parallel market.

    He described the demand as artificial, saying, “I think the parallel market has been taken over by some forces. Where is this demand coming from? I think this is not sustainable.”
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