The performance of the naira was mixed across the various market segments in the currency market on Monday.
At the parallel market, the naira weakened by 0.41 per cent to close at N741 against the greenback; while at the I &E window, the naira strengthened by 0.38 per cent to close at N462.25/dollar against Friday’s exchange rate of N464.00/$1.
The naira at the interbank segment however closed flat at N460.93/dollar.
In the P2P category of the forex market, the value of the local currency weakened to N743.4 on Monday against Sunday’s exchange rate of N741.1, based on Binance data.
An economist, Professor Akpan Ekpo, speaking with The PUNCH stated that even with the strengthening of the naira at the I&E window, there was a need for the Central Bank of Nigeria to close the gap between the black market and the official market.
“The gap between the official rate and the black market rate is too wide. What CBN should do is narrow that gap. It is a function of demand and supply. You don’t have enough (forex) from oil to shore up your reserves. The economy has to be diversified, you have to export non-oil products to earn foreign exchange. That is the only way to close that gap,” he said.
The National Bureau of Statistics had over the weekend announced the inflation rate for March 2023, which had jumped to 24.45 per cent. Following pattern, the Central Bank of Nigeria is expected to increase the Money Policy Rate to combat inflation.
The NBS said that the rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis was caused by increases in prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruits, meat, vegetables, and spirits.