Naira Hits Record Low on Black Market

The Nigerian naira fell 1.1 percent to a record low of 445 to the dollar on the black market on Monday as the dollar woes of Africa's biggest economy persist.

Traders said that speculators and strong demand from parents buying dollars to pay school fees abroad are putting pressure on the Nigerian currency, though the president of the association of bureau de change operators, Aminu Gwadabe, said the rate is not a true reflection of the market.

"The market is being driven by speculators who are taking advantage of the poor implementation of central bank policy requiring banks to sell dollars to bureau de change operators to ease pressure in the market," Gwadabe told Reuters, adding that most commercial lenders are reluctant to comply with the directive.

The central bank's instruction accompanied its licensing of 11 new international money transfer operators last month in its efforts to boost dollar supply.

The naira exchange rate on the official interbank market was flat at 305 to the dollar.