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Naira Devaluation and Its Effects on Forex Trading in Nigeria




In Africa, Nigeria has one of the most vibrant economies dominated by its oil exports. In fact, Nigeria had the largest economy in Africa for years, until Egypt took over first place in 2023. However, despite its economic prowess, Nigeria faces persistent challenges. One of the common challenges is the frequent devaluation of its national currency, the Naira. In this short article, we will look at the Naira devaluation and its effects on forex trading in Nigeria. 

The Forex Trading Landscape in Nigeria

Currently, Nigeria has some of the most hardcore traders in Africa. The popularity of forex trading and investing in general continues to grow. This popularity surge is due to a number of reasons including a youthful population and increased accessibility to technology devices. Currently, the country has more than 200,000 active traders, a number that is gradually growing. 


To serve this growing number of traders, there are now many forex brokers that have a strong presence in the country. Forex brokers like Exness operating in Nigeria are offering traders a wide range of market products to trade, making it easy to diversify portfolios. Unfortunately, the high number of forex brokers operating in the region makes it hard to pick the best legitimate brokers among the hundreds. Moreover, the regulatory environment in the Nigerian forex market is lacklustre. There are currently no forex brokers that are under the regulation of either the CBN or the Nigerian SEC. 

Understanding the Naira’s Devaluation

Naira devaluation refers to the deliberate downward adjustment of the value of the Naira in relation to another currency, typically the United States Dollar (USD). This adjustment is often initiated by the country’s central bank or government authorities in response to various economic factors. These can include factors such as inflation, trade imbalances, or external debt pressures.

Nigeria has experienced multiple episodes of Naira devaluation throughout its history. Some notable devaluation events include the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in the 1980s, the global financial crisis of 2008, and more recent devaluations in 2016 and 2020. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that contribute to the Naira’s devaluation.

  • Inflation – High inflation erodes the purchasing power of a currency, leading to a decrease in its value relative to other currencies. Nigeria has struggled with inflationary pressures, which can contribute to the devaluation of the Naira.

  • Foreign Exchange Reserves – The level of foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is crucial. If reserves are low, it may signal to the market that the CBN lacks the capacity to defend the value of the Naira. This can lead to speculative trading against the Naira and subsequent devaluation.

  • Interest Rates – Divergence in interest rates between Nigeria and other countries can influence capital flows. Higher interest rates in Nigeria relative to other countries may attract foreign investment, supporting the Naira. Conversely, lower interest rates may lead to capital outflows and currency devaluation.

  • Government Policies – Fiscal and monetary policies implemented by the Nigerian government and the Central Bank can impact the value of the Naira. For example, excessive money printing to finance government spending can lead to inflation and currency devaluation.

Now that we know some of the factors that contribute to the Naira’s devaluation, let’s take a look at its effects on forex trading in Nigeria.

Effects of Naira Devaluation on Forex Trading

  • Increased Volatility – Devaluation typically leads to increased volatility in the forex market. This volatility can create opportunities for traders to profit from fluctuations in currency exchange rates but also increases the risk of losses. Traders need to implement strict risk management techniques to manage their losses in case the market moves against them.

  • Economic StrugglesA devalued Naira means that it takes more Naira to purchase foreign currencies. This can increase the cost of imported goods and raw materials, leading to inflationary pressures in the economy. Forex traders need to consider how changes in import costs will impact consumer behaviour and overall economic stability to discover trends in the market.

  • Inflation – As mentioned, devaluation may contribute to inflationary pressures as it raises the cost of imported goods and raw materials. This upward pressure on prices can lead to an increase in inflation rates, influencing interest rates and economic stability. Forex traders should closely monitor the impact of currency devaluation on inflation dynamics, as it can significantly affect trading decisions.

  • Central Bank Intervention – In response to currency devaluation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may intervene to stabilize exchange rates. This intervention can take various forms, such as selling foreign reserves or implementing currency controls. Traders should anticipate and react to central bank interventions accordingly as exchange rates change with intervention.


The frequent devaluation of the Naira poses significant challenges for forex trading in Nigeria. The country’s vibrant forex market faces increased volatility and economic uncertainty due to currency devaluation. Factors such as inflation, foreign exchange reserves, interest rates, and government policies contribute to the Naira’s devaluation. This in turn impacts forex traders’ strategies and risk management techniques. Despite these challenges, traders must remain vigilant and adapt to the dynamic forex landscape. Regulatory improvements and central bank interventions play crucial roles in mitigating the adverse effects of currency devaluation on the Nigerian economy. But these can affect exchange rates and hence cause turmoil in the market.


Source link: Nigerianeye

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