The value of the naira fell further yesterday, exchanging for N385 for a dollar at the parallel market as supply continued to fall short of demand.
On Wednesday, the local currency fell to a low of N370 per dollar at the parallel market, a situation which was also attributed to the increasing demand and announcement effect of plans to include medical tourism and payment of school fees abroad in the prohibition list.
A new twist may have been added to the unending pressure on the Naira, as indications have emerged that the dollar demand may have been stoked by fears of the ongoing probe.
The Director of Corporate Communications, Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Ibrahim Mu’azu, while speaking with The Guardian, challenged the veracity of the quoted rates in the parallel market, saying that there is need to find out what quantity is being sold at those prices by individual currency seller.
He debunked the claim that some leakages in the system were from the staffers of the apex bank. According to him, some politicians are to blame because it is difficult to estimate properly what has actually happened from last year till now.
But a source in the foreign exchange market said that the current demand is not informed entirely by import, because at the rate, only a few importers would recover costs. He noted that foreign companies are now looking for exit in fear of being linked to the financial investigations currently going on in the country.
The source affirmed that people are actually demanding and buying the dollar at the exorbitant rate for fear of uncertainty, while companies and individuals, who may be linked with some personalities in the country in one way or the other are now reducing investment as well as using the dollar to facilitate capital flight.
Another source in the financial market told The Guardian that the probe was gradually expanding and very soon, it would begin to link establishments and investments, because some foreign businesses in the country are in joint venture partnership, while the promoters of others are hidden entirely.
“Even at N500 to the dollar, the affected interests would demand and buy it, because it would be better to get something than losing them all,” the source said.