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It Will End In Tears- Presidency Warns Nigerians To Sell Off Their Dollars As Naira Records More Gains

The naira continued its upward trajectory against the United States dollar by making significant gains.

On Thursday, Naira closed at 1,382/$ at the official market, marking a gain of N18.

Amidst this positive development, the Presidency issued a stern warning to currency speculators, urging them to refrain from undermining the national currency, as they risk facing dire consequences for their actions.

This appreciation follows significant gains recorded by the naira in both the official and parallel foreign exchange markets on Wednesday, where it closed at N1,400/dollar at the black market.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited revealed that the naira appreciated by 1.3 percent at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, spurred by increased dollar supply.

On Thursday, the intraday high stood at N1,598 per dollar, surpassing the previous day’s close of N1,620, while the intraday low strengthened to N1,300/$, an improvement from N1,350/$1.

Market players injected a total of $288.47 million into the FX market, marking a 7.46 percent increase from the $268.29 million recorded the previous day.

The Central Bank of Nigeria announced on Wednesday that it had successfully resolved all valid foreign exchange backlogs, amounting to $7 billion, as pledged by Governor Olayemi Cardoso. Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the clearance of the remaining balance of the FX backlog with the final payment of $1.5 billion.

Cardoso reiterated the importance of clearing the FX backlog to bolster credibility and confidence in the Nigerian economy.

The strain on the naira/dollar exchange rate is gradually easing, as evidenced by the sustained growth of Nigeria’s external reserves over the past month. According to CBN data, foreign currency reserves increased by 3.62 percent to $34.37 billion as of March 12, 2024, compared to $33.17 billion recorded at the beginning of February 2024.

Furthermore, Diaspora remittances surged by 433 percent to $1.3 billion in February, up from $300 million in January, according to CBN reports.

In light of these developments, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, advised currency traders speculating on foreign exchange to sell their dollar holdings promptly to avoid potential losses.

He cautioned, “With backlog FX settled, Naira is set to appreciate further, faster. Currency speculators should quickly dump their stock of dollars to avoid sorrows and tears.”

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