April 18, 2024

Naira Plunges to All-Time Low at N1,730/$, Sparking EFCC Raid on BDC Operators



By: Shabach Bako


The Nigerian naira is facing a severe devaluation, reaching a new all-time low of N1,730 against the United States dollar on the parallel market.


The drastic depreciation led to heightened concerns, prompting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct a raid on Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Abuja. The EFCC arrested over 50 currency traders suspected of speculating against the naira, contributing to its downward spiral.


Currency dealers attribute the naira’s depreciation to strong demand for dollars by speculators and individuals traveling for business, tourism, education, and health. The decline represents a N60 or 3.59% drop from the previous rate of N1,670/$ at the close of trade on Friday.


The EFCC raid on BDC operators in Abuja came as a response to the worsening exchange rates and suspicions of market manipulation. The arrested traders are accused of contributing to the falling value of the naira against major currencies.


Currency traders in Lagos and Abuja reported high demand for dollars, quoting the buying price at N1,700 and the selling price at N1,730. The situation has impacted market rates, with traders struggling to meet the rising demand for foreign currency.


The official window witnessed a 2.65% depreciation of the naira, settling at N1,574.62 on Monday, compared to N1,537.96/$ on Friday. Dollar sales to the market decreased to $66.43 million, reflecting the challenges faced in stabilizing the forex market.


Analysts draw parallels to the previous week’s trading, recalling the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange’s fluctuating rates. The naira began the week at N1,534/$, later falling to N1,503.38/$ before recovering slightly to N1,537/$ at the week’s close.


The naira’s struggles extend beyond the US dollar, with exchange rates against the British Pound hitting above N2,000 in the parallel market. Despite recording 1931/£ at the official market, the disparity emphasizes the impact of the naira’s volatility on various foreign currencies.

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