Naira hits 418/dollar as forex scarcity lingers

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The local currency, which closed at 414 against the greenback on Monday, traded at 415 in Lagos, 417 in Abuja and 418 in Kano, foreign exchange dealers said. Foreign exchange analysts believe the lingering scarcity of forex has been exacerbated by the banning of eight commercial banks from the forex market by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The CBN last week Tuesday banned nine lenders from forex transactions for failing to remit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation $2.334 billion into the Treasury Single Account.

The United Bank for Africa Plc, one of the nine lenders, was later re-admitted after it remitted its share of the funds to the TSA. A day after the CBN banned the nine banks from the forex market, the local currency depreciated to 402/dollar, down from 397 it closed against the greenback on Tuesday.

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