The currency hit its record low hours after a data released by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the economy was in recession.
The naira has continued to weaken in the parallel market as Bureau de change operators have been finding it difficult to access their forex account and get dollar supply, after the central bank suspended nine commercial lenders from the market last week.
The CBN banned nine commercial banks from the forex market for failing to remit the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s $2.334bn into the Treasury Single Account, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive last September.
However, there is hope the Naira is set for comeback over the dollar next week as the CBN has re-instated the eight banks banned last week from operating in the country’s foreign exchange market.
The CBN Director, Banking Supervision Department, Tokunbo Martins, announced the reinstatement of the banks, after a meeting between chief executive officers of the affected banks and the Committee of Governors of the CBN under the auspices of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
Mrs. Martins said the decision was taken after the CEOs presented an acceptable plan to repay all the outstanding dollars in respect of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) deposits in their possession to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Bureaux de Change operators have also raised the hope of a gradual appreciation of the local currency in the near term as the CBN licensed 11 new international money transfer operators to address the dollar supply side.
“Depending on the effective implementation of the central bank’s policy, the appointment of new international money transfer operators will ensure that banks will have more dollars to sell to bureau de change and provide the needed liquidity in the market,” the president, National Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, told Reuters.