The value of Naira in the black market further depreciated on Monday, as demand for the dollar rose due to Nigerian pilgrims heading outside the country for Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
At the opening of the parallel market, traders increased the price to sell one dollar to ₦620, rising by 1.9%, when compared to the ₦608 the United States currency was sold for last week by Bureau De Change operators.
However, in the official foreign exchange market, Investors and Exporters window, domiciled in the FMDQ platform, the Naira closed at ₦420.12 to $1 on Friday, depreciating marginally by 0.07% after opening trading at ₦419.79 to one dollar.
On the platform, which is backed by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), sellers had closed their rate at ₦420.17 for the legal tender of the United States on Thursday. The decline between Friday’s rate and that of the previous day comes as less forex was demanded.
On Thursday, $201.81 million trades were recorded, but this figure fell to $162.98 million the next day. This is a difference of $38.83 million, according to the last data published by FMDQ on its website.
In comparison to other currencies like the pound sterling of Britain, the naira grew weaker, with traders letting the UK currency go for ₦510.02/£1 on Friday. This is 0.38% decline when compared to Thursday’s N508.06, representing an additional ₦1.96 kobo.
The Nigerian currency also posted negative result against the Euro on Friday, with the european legal tender selling for ₦437.60/€1. The rate was in contrast to the ₦436.56/€1 that both nations’ currencies exchanged for the previous day, reflecting a depreciation of 0.23%.
Meanwhile, with preparation for pilgrims gearing up in Nigeria, the demand for dollar is likely to skyrocket across all platforms, considering about 43,008 pilgrims are leaving the shores of the country for the holy land in Saudi Arabia.
Over 500 pilgrims from Borno have already departed, amid plans by Saudi Arabia to allow only one million Muslims, including its citizens, to participate in this year’s hajj. This is an improvement in the number permitted, considering only 60,000 were allowed in 2021, and 1,000 in 2020. In 2019, about 2.5 million were permitted to observe the hajj.