Naira appreciation faster than expected- BDC Operators

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The Association of the Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) says the Nigerian currency Naira has appreciated faster than expected against the United States’ Dollar.

Aminu Gwadabe, President of the Association, spoke virtually on Channels Television’s Business Incorporated programme on Tuesday.

Gwadabe stated that as of Tuesday afternoon, BDC operators acquire the dollar at N980/$1 and sell it at N1,020/$1, compared to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) official rate of N1161/$1.

In recent weeks, the naira has strengthened against the dollar by more than 40%, rising from over N1,900/$ in early January to around N1,100/$1 today.

The apex bank has since implemented a number of measures to strengthen the naira against foreign exchange, including settling approximately $7 billion in valid foreign exchange backlogs, selling FX to over 1,500 BDC operators at official rates, and clamping down on cryptocurrency platforms such as Binance, which have been accused of speculation, among others.

The BDC chief applauded the current administration for its efforts so far, saying it’s the first time in the last 15 years that dollar will exchange in the parallel market lesser than at the official rate.

He said, “It’s a long journey, it did not start today. It’s a culmination of many factors, even though it happened faster than expected. I want to congratulate the management of the Central Bank. For the first time in the history of (Nigeria), over the past 15 years, we have never seen where the open market is lower than the CBN rate. So, kudos to the Central Bank and congratulations to Nigerians.

“There is calmness now and we have not been seeing speculations coming into the market which hitherto has been the albatross that was keeping the naira under pressure.

“What we are seeing now is to show (that) what happened before has no any economic fundamentals; it’s just a bubble and the bubble has burst.

“This happened with some stringent, concerted policies, stress test policies that started with the unification of the market, it came with a mixture of feelings, a lot of disequilibrium, however, it has eventually achieved its objective of convergence. All is to converge the exchange rate so that we can have a single market rate. So, congratulations to the Presidency.”