Following the continuous crashing of the currency of the biggest economy in Africa, naira, against as the dollar at the parallel market, some traders in Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have lamented that the development was affecting their business making it difficult for them to sell their goods and make profit from the products imported into the country.
The traders who spoke during an interview Nigerian Pilot in Abuja noted that the development had led to daily increments in the prices of goods and services making them have low turnout of sales as most people complaint of high price of products.
Mrs. Nkem Ubah who deals in ladies wears and bags, said the high exchange rate was impacting negatively on import business, noting that the situation was becoming unbearable for them to bear.
According to her, “we spend so much to import these goods into the country and when customers come to buy, they will be pricing it below the cost prices” just imagine buying a particular a bag for twenty thousand Naira and a customer comes to price it for fifteen thousand naira, just because it was sold for such price the previous day, noting that the price are increased based on the exchange rate”.
This is even as they appealed to the federal government to do everything within its power to ensure that naira regained her value in the international community as this is impacting negatively on importers in the country.
Another marketer, Mr. Jack Obi, an importer of toiletries and sanitary pads, said that the high exchange rate was impacting negatively on import businesses, noting that it was making it difficult for them to make reasonable sales
He said, “Most my colleagues are tired of giving explanations as to why the prices of these goods are increasing by the day, and because of this development, customers will come and asked for a particular thing without been able to buy”.
Obi said, the year has end and the shop-owners would start coming for their rent not minding whether there had been sales or not, government should do something to stabilised the naira before we go bankrupt”.
He noted that some of their customers were already fed up with the daily recitation of explanations linking the volatility of the market to fluctuations in the naira rates at the parallel market.
In her remarks, Mrs. Nkechi Onyebuchi, an importer of cosmetics, said that the weakening of the naira was causing consumer apathy in the market.
Onyebuchi, therefore, called on the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN, to urgently address the continued sliding of the naira at the parallel market.
She noted that a situation where the difference between the official exchange rate and that at the parallel market was widening by the day was counter-productive to the economy.
Adding that, “It is becoming difficult to sell some of the cosmetics I imported because of the price fluctuations. The CBN should do something to reduce the widening gap between the official exchange rate and that at the parallel market”.
Also, an importer of vehicles, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the fluctuation in the price of the naira and the tightening forex policy of the CBN had forced him to source for forex abroad.
The importer explained that he chose to transfer naira to a country in the United Arabs Emirates and travel there to get an agreed dollar equivalent from his business counterpart. Some of us in our line of business had to choose this option because of the strict dollar policy of the CBN.
He said, “Unless the government reviews its policies, we will continue to devise means of accessing forex to finance our businesses”.
It would be recall that the official rate at the interbank window stood at N197 to the dollar, a rate many believe is a far cry from that at the parallel market.
The CBN, in a bid to save the soul of the naira, came up with its dollarisation policy where it restricted forex access to about 41 goods.
Beyond this, the apex bank also issued a circular to Bureaux de Change operators to demand Bank Verification Numbers from their customers before selling forex to them.
The naira was reported to have depreciated further last weekend as it exchanged for N248 to the dollar, a situation the businessmen said was becoming unbearable.

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