Lagos - Some businessmen in Lagos on
Monday expressed concern that the continued crashing of the Naira at the
parallel market was making it difficult for them to sell their goods.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, they
said that the development had led to daily increments in the prices of goods
NAN reports that the currency of the biggest economy in Africa depreciated
further last weekend as it exchanged for N248 to the dollar, a situation the
businessmen said was becoming unbearable.
Mr Abel Obodo, an importer of men’s wears, said that the high exchange rate was
impacting negatively on import businesses.
According to Obodo, his colleagues are tired of giving explanations as to why
the prices of clothing items are increasing by the day.
He noted that some of their customers were already fed up with the daily
recitation of explanations linking the volatility of the market to fluctuations
in the naira rates at the parallel market.
In her remarks, Mrs Funke Agboola, an importer of cosmetics, said that the
weakening of the naira was causing consumer apathy in the market.
Also read: Naira appreciates at parallel market
She noted that a situation where the difference between the official exchange
rate and that at the parallel market was widening by the day was
counter-productive to the economy.
Agboola, therefore, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently
address the continued sliding of the naira at the parallel market.
"It is becoming difficult to sell some of the cosmetics I imported because of
the price fluctuations.
"The CBN should do something to reduce the widening gap between the official
exchange rate and that at the parallel market,’’ Agboola said.
Also, an importer of vehicles, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that
the fluctuation in the price of the naira and the tightening forex policy of
the CBN had forced him to source for forex abroad.
The importer explained that he chose to transfer naira to a country in the
United Arabs Emirates and travel there to get an agreed dollar equivalent from
his business counterpart.
"Some of us in our line of business had to choose this option because of the
strict dollar policy of the CBN.
"Unless the government reviews its policies, we will continue to devise means
of accessing forex to finance our businesses,’’ the importer said.
NAN reports that the official rate at the interbank window stood at N197 to the
dollar, a rate many believe is a far cry from that at the parallel market.
The CBN, in a bid to save the soul of the naira, came up with its dollarisation
policy where it restricted forex access to about 41 goods.
Beyond this, the apex bank also issued a circular to Bureaux de Change
operators to demand Bank Verification Numbers from their customers before
selling forex to them.