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Senate summons Emefiele as Naira falls 34% to N710

The Nigerian Senate has summoned its Apex bank chairman Godwin Emefiele over the record fall of the Naira to dollar at the exchange market.

Naira weakened by 34 per cent in 10 months, closing at N710 to a dollar on Wednesday in the parallel market, with a margin of N280 from the official rate.

This is a pounding headache for manufacturers who are no longer able to get dollars from the official market to import their raw and packaging materials.

The Senate, on Wednesday, resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to educate and inform senators in a closed session on the reasons for the rapid depreciation of the value of the naira.

It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to assess the impact of CBN intervention funds meant to support critical sectors of the economy.

At the Investor & Exporter forex window, the naira hit a high of N444 before closing to the dollar at N430. The I&E market recorded a total turnover of $126.69m on Wednesday.

The President, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, told The Punch on Wednesday evening that, “the rate closed at N710/$.”

Some Bureau de Change operators who spoke to one of our correspondents from Ikeja, Lagos, said a dollar was bought and sold for N700 and N710 respectively.

At Zone 4 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a dollar hovered between N705 and N710 between 11am and 4pm yesterday.

According to the head of BDCs, Gwadabe, the situation resulted from a drop in dollar supply and an unmet dollar demand, saying these had created a huge backlog, making it easier for unlicensed forex dealers to engage in speculative activities.

Gwadabe said over $20bn dollars was expected to come into the economy from the diaspora this year, with a large part of such funds coming in through unofficial channels because of the control by International Money Transfer Operators and other favored operators.

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