Naira may not fall below 475, say experts – Punch

By Oyetunji Abioye

Economic and financial experts say the naira may not fall below 475 against the United States dollar between now and end of December.

They based the prediction on declining dollar demand and efforts being made by the Central Bank of Nigeria to boost supply of foreign exchange.

The experts spoke in separate interviews on the outlook of the naira.

“It appears the exchange rate has got to the peak, which is something around 470/dollar. I think  the naira may not go beyond 475/dollar between now and end of December,” a currency strategist at Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Kunle Ezun, said.

He added that holidaymakers returning to Nigeria for Christmas would also make dollar supply to increase.

According to Ezun, this will reduce the currency volatility created by dollar scarcity.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said due to declining economic activities, demand for forex was gradually reducing.

This, coupled with efforts being made by the regulator to boost forex supply, will make the naira-dollar exchange rate to remain around the 470 mark in the coming weeks, according to him.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said efforts being made by the CBN to boost supply would make the naira to appreciate in coming months.

He said, “The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, met with the International Money Transfer Organisations in London on Saturday. The government is trying to woo these operators to enable them to bring more forex into the country. This will boost supply. Already, the exchange rate which the IMTOs can sell dollars to the banks has been increased from 336 to 375.”

He added, “At the association level, we have created committees that will check sharp practices in the market. All these will yield result.”