Naira hedges slightly against dollar at parallel market

The Naira on Friday hedged up slightly against the dollar at the parallel market amid calls for the apex bank to relax its strict foreign exchange policy.

The Naira appreciated by 0.4 per cent on Friday afternoon as it exchanged for N277 against the dollar from N278 it traded for previously.

However, the Naira closed at N197 to the dollar at the official interbank window.

Traders at the parallel market expressed concern that in spite of the resumption of forex auction to Bureaux de Change (BDCs) operators, the scarcity of the greenback was still exerting pressures on the Naira.

Industry watchers had speculated that remitted funds during the yuletide season were capable of giving the Naira a better outing at the market.

The CBN had on Wednesday sold about 15.5 million dollars to about 1,650 BDCs, with the demand of the greenback doubling.

Meanwhile, the senate had on Thursday urged the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, to relax the strict forex policy, arguing that the policy “was doing more harm than good’’.

This was also re-echoed by the Managing Director of the IMF, Ms Christine Lagarde, when she advised the apex bank to operate a flexible forex policy.