Naira hits N500 per dollar
The naira dropped against the United States dollar from 498 to 500 at the parallel market during the early trading hours on Monday.
The currency thus crossed the critical threshold analysts had predicted.
At the official market, the local unit closed at 305/dollar, the level it has traded at since August last year.
The CBN had two weeks ago commenced sales of dollars to the BDC operators through Travelex, following a three-week break during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
On Friday, the naira closed at 498/dollar at the black market, broadly unchanged from 497/dollar it recorded the previous weekend.
“Confidence is gradually returning to the forex market as a result of improved foreign exchange reserves, dollar sales by international money transfer agents and the central bank assurance it will continue to support the local currency,” one trader told Reuters.
Last Tuesday, the CBN said it would continue to provide hard currency, with priority given to manufacturing industries that need to import raw materials and spare parts.
Economic and financial analysts are slightly divided over the outlook for the naira this year.