By Hope Moses-Ashike
Nigeria’s currency on Wednesday depreciated by 0.39 against the dollar after steadying at N515/$ for the past one week at the parallel market, also known as the black market.
After trading on Wednesday, the naira/dollar exchange rate closed at N517/$ compared to N515 it has traded since August 11, 2021.
Trade attributed the naira depreciation to increased demand for the greenback by the end-users who could not get dollars from the bank due to the documentation process.
Naira fell sharply to N525 to the dollar on July 28 after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would discontinue the sale of dollars to the Bureau De Change (BDC) operators due to foreign exchange contraventions.
At the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window, naira weakened by 0.06 percent as the dollar was quoted at N411.75k/$ as against N411.50k/$ closed on the previous day, data from the FMDQ indicated.
Currency traders who participated in the trading session on Wednesday maintained bids between N400.00k and N413.00k per dollar.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is collaborating with the Nigeria Police, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to prosecute Naira abusers.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Osita Nwanisobi, acting director, corporate communications, on Tuesday.
The CBN said this in response to the activities of persons, who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.
According to the CBN, there have also been cases where people mishandle the Naira, deface it, hawk the currency at parties and reject the currency in some instances.
The regulator said contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is neither cultural nor moral, for people to disrespect the currency which citizens trade-in.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”
The CBN, therefore, warned Nigerians, particularly those at social functions such as birthdays, weddings and funerals, to desist from disrespecting the Naira or risk being arrested by law enforcement agencies.
“The Naira is our legal tender and symbol of national pride. Let us respect it and handle it with care,” the statement reads.