The value of the naira appreciated to N498 to the dollar as against the N500 in previous weeks just as the external reserves rose to $28.28 billion the highest in the year highest in a year.
The naira however remained stable at N305.25 to the dollar at the interbank market, on the website of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators; the naira was quoted at N315.38 to the dollar.
Demand for the greenback grew and the Central Bank of Nigeria rationed dollar supply, having sold $660 million in 3- and 5- month currency forwards at an auction aimed at clearing a backlog of dollar demand. Traders however said the dollar sale was not enough to satisfy the market.
Data on the website of the apex bank showed that the nation’s external reserves has risen by 7.89 per cent since the beginning of the year. Traders said while the apex bank has been selling dollars on the official market to support the naira, dollar shortages were causing the naira to weaken on the black market.
Head of Africa Research at Standard Chartered Bank, Razia Khan said, “Despite rising foreign exchange reserves, it is the amount of forex that is supplied that matters.