The sudden slide of the US dollar and other foreign currencies has made export to neighbouring countries such as Niger Republic, Burkina Faso and Chad unattractive, traders have said.
Visits to Tsohuwar Kasuwa and other markets in Sokoto recently revealed that the number of trucks that load goods to Niger and Burkina Faso on daily basis has dropped drastically from about 20 to about five trucks.
Merchants from the neighbouring countries had taken advantage of the depreciation of the naira in recent times to ship more goods out of the country with little amount of their currencies, especially the CFA.
Local traders who spoke to our reporter said merchants from neighbouring countries no longer found it attractive to exchange a CFA at N62 to do business in Nigeria even as the price of the goods still remained high at their markets.
Alhaji Usman Salihu Mai Sugar, told our reporter that patronage by the merchants dropped since last week when the naira began to appreciate, adding “Before now there was hardly space here, even to pass was difficult.”
He said some of the reasons why the export business has gotten less attractive was “Because we are still selling the old stocks in the market; the appreciation of naira is yet to bring down prices in the market.”
Ismaila Illela said some of his customers at Niger told him they were studying the market for now before returning to Nigeria.
Also, some traders in Kano said there is a sharp dropped in patronage by merchants from Niger Republic as well as Chad
“About 20 to 30 trucks fully loaded usually leave Kano every evening before the appreciation of the naira but the number of trucks has reduced minimally as of last week,” a trader, Shuaibu Rijiyar Lemo, told our reporter recently.
The naira appreciated by about 20 percent since February 21 after the Central Bank of Nigeria released some new rules on the forex market.
Some Nigerians expressed joy over the naira appreciation hoping that things would get better in the nearest future.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have expressed joy over as the naira appreciated, saying that no one was happy with the high rate of inflation in the country due to forex scarcity.
According to Alhaji Salihu, “No one was happy with the high cost of materials in the market, even us the traders, we are not making much gain as speculated, we spend a lot to buy few goods.”
The naira jumped by about 18 percent at the parallel market – from N520 on February 23, to N425 a dollar Wednesday. However, some reports said the local currency closed the week at about 465 a dollar.