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Dollar Hits N615, Local Raw Materials Sourcing Declines To 52%

 

The pressure on the foreign exchange market continued on Tuesday, with the dollar exchanging at N615 at the parallel market in Lagos and Abuja.

This is even as the percentage of local raw materials sourced by Nigerian manufacturers declined to 52.4 per cent in 2021, from 57.5 per cent obtained in 2020, according to data from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

 

The PUNCH market research showed that a dollar sold for N613 and N614 at Zone 4 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, but the rate was N615 at Amuwo Odofin and Lagos airports on Tuesday. At Abuja airports, a dollar was sold for N615. The situation was different at the Importers and Exporters window where a dollar went for N415.64, putting the margin between the official and the parallel markets at N199.36.

Bureau de Change players said dollars were becoming increasingly scarce and the price could get to N700 before the end of the year.

“We are looking for dollars to buy, but we can’t find it anywhere. People are hoarding their dollars and waiting for prices to rise further,” Aminu Bala, one of the BDCs in Zone 4, Abuja, said in pidgin English.

 

 

Abdullahi Isah, a BDC at Amuwo-Odofin in Lagos, lamented that they bought at N610-N612, saying that scarcity of dollars was hurting their business and the economy.

According to the President, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, no sensible person would like to sell his or her dollar when prices could rise within the shortest possible time.

Gwadabe noted that the naira was facing a war of attrition, worsened by currency substitution, speculation, politics and exclusion of BDCs from the FX market.

 

 

He said due to the one-month notice given to travellers who needed basic allowances, many of them were finding their way to the parallel market, putting further pressure on the market.

Gwadabe called for the reinstatement of BDCs to the FX market, stressing the need for market liberalisation.

 

Nigeria is facing a dollar crunch, coupled with declining government revenue and oil production. Revenue of the Federal Government has declined from N970.57 billion in July 2021 to N680.783 billion in May 2022.

Nigeria earned about $10bn in non-oil exports in 2021, but this is just about 30 per cent of what Bangladesh earned from its textile exports last year. Oil production fell to 1.2 million barrels per day in April 2022 from 1.238 million barrels in March, according to OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report. This is far from the oil benchmark of 1.88 million barrels per day in the 2022 budget.

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