The naira is expected to fall sharply when interbank trading begins on Monday, but the central bank said it did not have a target for the currency and the price would be “purely” market-driven. The naira was trading on the black market at around 370 to the dollar on Thursday.
Giving the first indication of a target, Governor Godwin Emefiele said in a June 3 letter to Buhari – seen by Reuters – that the central bank hopes the naira will eventually trade at around 250 per dollar, a level the president has “approved”.
“I must assure Your Excellency that we are indeed reasonably optimistic that at some point the rate will settle around 250 naira,” Emefiele says in the letter.
The letter, which briefs Buhari on the foreign exchange plan announced on Wednesday, says it could take three to four weeks to clear a $4 billion backlog of foreign exchange demand.
Buhari was initially defiant in his stand against the devaluation of the naira which he regarded as its ‘death’ due to the untold econmic hardship it has subjected Nigerian too in the past through hyper-inflation.