By Biodun Busari
Naira has fallen further against the U.S. dollar at the official market on Tuesday, a day after the currency recorded an insignificant gain at the spot market.
According to data released by the The Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Fixing (NAFEX), where forex is officially traded, naira which opened at N427.30 closed at N431.00 to a dollar on Tuesday.
This signifies a N3.87 or 0.90 per cent devaluation from N427.17 it exchanged in the previous session on Monday.
The naira fluctuated to an intraday high of N414.00 and stooped to a low of N444.00 before closing at N431.00 per $1 on the second business day of the week, which was yesterday.
Forex turnover at the market on Tuesday dropped by 35.40 per cent with $58.03 million posted at the close of market against the $89.79 million recorded in the previous session on Monday.
This is the weakest rate the currency has traded at the NAFEX window this year. The new record is 0.2 per cent weaker than the N430.33 weakest rate the currency closed at on 15 July.
Amidst forex scarcity, the naira has been trading at weak rates in recent weeks and months at both the official and parallel market segments.
According to NAFEX, within the past six months, naira exchanges with the U.S dollar have been in the range of N417 and N430.33 benchmarks before falling a new low of N431.00 at the official market on Tuesday.
The NAFEX is regarded as the official market for foreign currency transactions in Africa’s biggest economy even if most on Nigeria get their dollars from the black market.
At the black market, exchangers said the forex scarcity pushed currency dealers to exchange at no specific amount on Tuesday.
Speaking on the depreciation, a currency trader in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Shuaibu said, “People are buying and selling as they like, I cannot tell you that this is the fixed amount we exchanged today.”
He said naira was bought and sold between N670 and N685 mark and above.
“The market has scattered, people are just buying and selling anyhow,” he added.
At the Abuja black market, currency dealers said they exchanged the naira with the greenback currency at N670.00 and above to a dollar on Tuesday