Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently raided the Wuse Zone 4 bureau de change hub of Abuja as it seeks to stabilize the Naira.
According to reports, EFCC operatives were working on intelligence that some individuals were buying up all the dollars on the black market thereby causing an artificial scarcity of the dollar and a drop in the local currency.
According to an EFCC detective:
“The anti- graft agency is working on intelligence that some forces with massive Naira inflow have mobilised resources and, are busy buying up available foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar, to either hoard or smuggle the same put of Nigeria.”
– Nigeria EFCC
The raids are part of a nationwide operation that is running across airports in the country and will be expanded to other major cities including Kano, Port Harcourt, and Lagos.
The latest Naira rates are as follows:
With the black market rates currently at over 700 Naira to the dollar, diverging from the official rate (415 Naira), Nigerians are turning to cryptocurrencies to determine the value of local currency.
The official rate is said to be ‘tightly managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria’ as opposed to local FX dealers where the price comes from demand and supply – this is usually referred to as the black market rate, and is not illegal.
The national government has also been accused of rationing dollars given dwindling income from oil exports.