In efforts to beat the January 2023 deadline for the current Nigerians currency notes to expire, the value of the US dollar has continue to go higher.
Following the latest announcement, politicians have approached BDC operators to easily convert their soon-to-expire stockpiled naira to foreign currencies, as the apex bank gave all Nigerians six weeks to return all old naira notes to the bank’s vault.
The naira has suffered further depreciation at the parallel market, currently trading for N785 against the dollar.
Peoples Gazette reported earlier in October that the naira had reached a new high, trading at N750 to the dollar. Since then, the dollar has continued to rise, resulting in a higher exchange rate.
The continued rise follows the prolonged ban on BDC operators as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria’s announcement of plans to phase out the country’s current banknotes and replace them by December.
On Wednesday, the apex bank’s governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that plans were underway to launch new naira notes by December 15.
Mr Emefiele said the move, since approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders, was certain to positively impact the value of the naira.
In 2021, the CBN prohibited the sale of foreign exchange to BDC operators in a bid to arrest the fast fall of the country’s currency. The apex bank had accused the BDCs of unauthorised sales of foreign exchange above the market they were authorised to serve.
BDC operators were a significant part of the black market before the ban, helping people who couldn’t legally access foreign currencies directly from the CBN to maintain their exchange rates.
The Gazette reported that the inability of BDC operators to obtain foreign currency from the CBN could have a significant negative effect.