Nigeria’s naira fell to an all-time low on Wednesday, a day after it crossed 200 to the dollar for the first time.
The naira opened at 200.60 and fell further to 201.70.
The BDCs are selling the dollar at a rate now over N212.
The official exchange rate for the naira is N168, but the lack of confidence in the Nigerian economy,especially after the shifting of the polls late on Saturday, has triggered capital flight and even exacerbated sell-off in the Nigerian Stock Market.
The election crisis has also triggered very high demand for the dollar, with the CBN unable to match the huge appetite, as Nigeria earns less and less from the oil export.
The central bank said on Tuesday the foreign exchange market was understandably nervous after the decision to postpone elections originally set for Feb. 14, but said it was nothing to worry about. The bank is committed to sustaining a “stable and orderly” market, it added.
The naira fell sharply on Tuesday to a fresh low of 200 to the dollar, despite a central bank intervention. It later firmed but ended at a record closing low of 199.90. The naira had closed at 196.50 on Monday.
“Capital flight has picked up, reflecting investor uncertainty. The rise in (overnight) rates will increase day-to-day funding of private sector operations in the run-up to the elections. Both will result in slower growth in Q1,” said Angus Downie, head of economic research at Ecobank.
*With reports by Reuters