The naira weakened to N374 per dollar at the Investors and Exporters window Thursday, the weakest it has ever traded since inception of the window in April 2017, as foreign investors rush for Nigeria’s exit door.
The naira fell 1.6 percent from N368 the previous day at the so-called I&E window which was created by the Central Bank to cater to investors and exporters at the peak of a dollar crunch in 2017.
The naira also weakened at the black market Thursday, trading at N410 per dollar from N380 a day before and is now down 13 percent this week, as Nigerians pile swap naira for dollars as they rush to hedge against a possible devaluation.
Foreigners are also dumping the naira over similar fears.
Nigerian officials haven’t helped in calming the panic by staying quiet on the exact measures they will take to curb the adverse impact of the oil downturn on the economy. In the meantime, equities and the currency have suffered a rout, with equities down 3 percent on the day.
Oil prices collapsed this week after the world’s biggest exporters failed to agree on how to respond to a drop in demand as global economic growth slows because of the spreading coronavirus.