Reports emerging on Thursday claimed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration was responsible for the closure of Bureaux De Change in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, earlier today.
The Association of Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators directed its members not to open the market for transactions today, 1st February 2024.
It was gathered that the operators have agreed not to exchange US Dollars for Naira for Nigerian customers due to the continued slide in the value of the naira against the dollar.
The Union lamented that its members are being blamed for the continued fall in the value of the naira.
To this end, the BDC operators agreed to carry out a ‘no sales policy’ today after serious deliberations on how to reduce the fall of the naira.
However, SaharaReporters has claimed to have obtained information from insiders that Tinubu’s government instructed the Department of State Services (DSS), to compel the BDCs to shut down in order to salvage the government’s reputation amidst the significant depreciation of the naira.
Following these instructions, the DSS allegedly assumed control of the market as the government made desperate attempts to stabilize the naira and protect its image.
Earlier on Tuesday, data from the FMDQ Exchange revealed that Nigeria’s naira reached a historic low against the dollar on the official market.
It was also reported that the currency fell below rates on the unofficial parallel market during intra-day trades.
FMDQ data showed that the naira dropped to as low as 1,531 against the dollar during Tuesday’s trading, compared to the parallel market’s rate of 1,460 naira. Eventually, the currency closed at 1,482.57 naira on the official market, as reported by FMDQ.
This recent depreciation occurred after the FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange, the market regulator, announced that it had revised its methodology for calculating closing rates on the currency. The revised methodology now incorporates more data, resulting in changes to the computed levels.
The Nigerian currency, the naira, has experienced a significant depreciation of approximately 40% since the beginning of this year. This decline in value has been attributed to the increasing demand for foreign currency from unofficial sources due to shortages in the West African nation. As a result, the official exchange rate has been gradually aligning with the parallel market rate.
In response to this situation, the Central Bank of Nigeria has issued a warning to financial institutions regarding the underreporting of transactions in the financial market.
This practice not only leads to the dissemination of inaccurate information but also facilitates attempts to manipulate market prices and create distortions.
The apex bank has emphasized that any involvement in such activities will be met with appropriate sanctions.
“Tinubu’s government shut down BDC centres in Abuja. They were actually forced to close down because of the free fall of the naira.
“DSS has taken over the market as we speak,” one of the sources reportedly said.
It added: “It is all to save face as the situation is becoming embarrassing for the government.”
“However, the Lagos market is still open but in panic mode. On Wednesday, we did N1,520 for a dollar.”