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LAGOS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - The Nigerian naira strengthened 2.1 percent to 235 per dollar on the unofficial market on Thursday after the central bank moved to enforce documentation requirements on bureau de change operators prior to dollar sales, traders said.
In a circular seen by Reuters on Thursday, the central bank asked all bureau de change (BDCs) operators to submit accounts showing their dollar usage at the start of each week before they can access future sales, a move traders say was aimed at curbing speculation.
The naira had fallen sharply on Wednesday, a day after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to stimulate lending in Africa’s biggest economy, traders said.
The currency was quoted at the pegged rate of 197 naira on the official interbank market on Thursday.
“It has been observed that a good number of bureaux de change purchased foreign exchange from the central bank without rendering returns on their utilisation,” the bank said
The central bank has introduced currency controls to stop the naira weakening, defying calls to further devalue the currency hard hit by the plunge in global crude prices.
The bank asked BDCs to immediately return all forex bought at its Wednesday auction without documents to show how they used previous purchases. It cut dollar supply to BDCs last week to conserve its dwindling foreign exchange reserves. (Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Dominic Evans)