Abuja’s Bureau de Change Operators Shut Down Offices Amid Forex Crisis

Nigeria is facing a severe foreign exchange crisis that has forced many Bureau de Change (BDC) operators to close their doors indefinitely. The BDC operators in Abuja, the capital city, announced their decision on Wednesday, February 1, 2024, citing the scarcity of dollars as the main reason.

According to Abdullahi Dauran, the chairman of the BDC operators in Abuja, the online business transactions and the rise of cryptocurrency have contributed to the dollar shortage. He said that the BDC operators could not access enough dollars from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the parallel market to meet the demand of their customers.

The situation has also affected the value of the Naira, the local currency, which has been depreciating against the dollar in both the official and the parallel markets. Data from FMDQ showed that the Naira appreciated slightly to N1,455.59 per US dollar on Thursday, from N1,482.57 on Wednesday.

However, Daily24 Apps reported that the Naira dropped to N1,482.57 per US dollar at the official market on Tuesday, lower than the N1,470 quoted at the parallel market.

The CBN has been trying to stabilize the Naira by injecting over $500 million to clear the forex backlog and implementing other interventions.

However, these measures have not been enough to curb the Naira’s fall. On Wednesday, the CBN issued new guidelines to commercial banks to prevent them from speculating and hoarding foreign currency.

The BDC operators are hoping that the CBN will intervene and provide them with more dollars to resume their business. Aminu Gwadabe, the president of the Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), said that he was aware of the situation in Abuja, but did not give any clear comment. He said, “I saw it online, too.”

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