Business & Finance

We Buy Dollars ‘Secretly’ From Government Officials – Black Market Operators Confess

Government officials and other powers-that-be have been heavily fingered in the steady crash of the naira which further compounds the recessive status of the Nigerian econonmy.
The foreign exchange market seems to be the goldmine exploited by influential Nigerians who selfishly make gargantuan profits without any definite investment by simply exploiting the loopholes in the system.
Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Abuja have blamed the steady fall of the naira on deliberate hoarding of foreign currencies which forces them to buy from government officials and top politicians across the country according to the Daily Independent.

Some BDC operators at Wuse Zone 4, a popular spot for foreign currency exchange, lamented that the pervasive scarcity of the dollars and other core global currencies is due to activities of highly placed government officials, top politicians and Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) staff, who have found the falling naira as a way to line up their pockets at the expense of the nation.

On allegation made by a former CBN governor and current Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that people sit at home and make calls to buy dollars from the CBN and resell, BDC operators corroborated it, saying, “It is true.”

Refusing to identify his name, a BDC operator said, “Dollar is scare, we don’t have it like in the past. For us to have it, we must identify who to approach to buy from CBN for us,” he said.

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“Mostly, top government officials use their influence to buy from the CBN in the name of going abroad for official assignment,” he further alleged.

Asked if he knew anyone or had bought from them, he said, “My ‘oga’ (boss) does not sleep,” adding that “he follows them around, sometimes he goes to their houses in Asokoro, Maitama to beg them to buy dollars. He traveled to Kano last time to approach somebody for it,” he pointed out.

According to information provided by the BDC operators, ministers, key personnel at the presidency, top politicians not in government but with strong links as well as traditional rulers mostly from the northern part of the country use their influence to buy dollars from the CBN even at the old rate of N170/$.

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