Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Lagos, Abuja, and Kano have been experiencing mixed fortunes since the recent forex unification policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At the parallel market on Saturday, the dollar was exchanged between N825 and N830 in Lagos, in Abuja, it was sold between N810 and N812, while in Kano, it was exchanged for N820 during the weekend.
The BDC operators in Lagos, have experienced a boom than their counterparts in Abuja and Kano, as those have lamented the negative impact of the policy on their businesses.
At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, dollars sold between N825 and N830 on Saturday.
Consequently, the unification of the exchange rate has not eased the demand for dollars, as it continued to increase because of high demand.
A BDC Operator at the MMIA, Ubada Usman, in a chat with Daily Trust, said the high demand for the dollar has been pushing up the price despite the unification.
“I am telling you if the CBN pumps dollars into commercial banks today, the price will go down, but in a situation where the banks don’t have the dollars to give, the BDCs remain the alternative,” he said.
Also, at Allen Avenue in Ikeja, a major BDC hub in Lagos, one of the operators, Nasiru Abdullahi, said nothing has changed and that the cost of getting dollars remained on the increase despite the CBN policy.
In Kano, operators in the popular Wapa BDC market have been battling with the scarcity of the forex as fewer people now come to the market to sell or buy since the new policy.
An operator in the Fagge market, Nura Usman, said since the new policy, they have not had access to forex from commercial banks.
He said: “In this market, we have many people, including the poor, who get what to eat only when the dollar is available.
“Many of them and other medium business owners are suffering while the rich ones are living off their capital. It has affected everything.”
Likewise, the FCT operators are also experiencing low patronage due to the forex unification policy.
An operator in Abuja, Ahmed Sabitu, said USD currently fluctuates between N800 and N860 at the black market.
“Because the difference is very small, sometimes N20, people will prefer to go to the bank. Sometimes in a whole day, only one customer will come, unlike before when we had over 20 people coming to do transactions in a day,” he said.