By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The free fall of Nigerian official currency, the Naira continued on Monday, sliding to an all-time record of N670 against the US dollar on exchange platform Aboki Fx.
While the parallel market values continues on a free fall, the official value remained at N430 to a dollar.
The unabated Naira depreciation comes a year after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the prohibition of sale of forex to bureau de change operators.
The apex bank had banned the sale of forex to BDC operators, citing the illegal sale of forex above the market they were licensed to serve.
Before the ban, BDC operators had long been a major black market, providing exchange rate support to a large number of those unable to formally access foreign currencies directly from the CBN.
When CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele banned the sale of forex to BDC, the exchange rate was around N501 to a dollar, however, a year after the ban, the value of the naira has plummeted to N670 to a dollar.
In an attempt to further restrict the flow of forex at the parallel market, the apex bank last week threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollars.
“For those taking money from banks to buy dollars, it is illegal to do so. If the security agencies hold you, you will know the implication of that,” Mr Emefiele said at a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Lagos.