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Friday, November 11, 2016

Using ‘Guns’ to control the forces of Demand and Supply

A new economic policy was born yesterday that saw the use of ‘guns’ to influence the forces of demand and supply in Nigeria’s foreign exchange market. The forex market in Nigeria since June 2016 has been thrown open to a flexible exchange regime to allow the forces of demand and supply determine the value of the Naira currency and how it is priced against major foreign currencies such as the US Dollar, Euro, Pounds, Rand etc.

Ever since the new flexible Forex regime came on board, the Naira which was previously pegged at N197/$ now exchanges for N314/$ at the official inter bank market and N465/$ at the parallel or black market. Obviously the forces of demand and supply has been evident as the exchange rate moves up and down over the past couple of months.

In a dramatic twist of events that beats all known economic model in history, the Nigerian Federal government is in no mood to keep ‘allowing’ forces of demand and supply to determine how the Nigerian Naira is Priced against foreign currencies at the black market as Nigeria’s secrete police, the Department of State Security Service (DSS) stormed operators of Bureau de change operators in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt Thursday forcing them to ‘peg’ dollar sales to N400/$ at ‘gun point’.  

DSS have earlier directed the officials of the BDCs association to peg the dollar at N400 while selling and N390 while buying from customers. Immediately after the directives, the DSS operatives commenced the enforcement of the order by arresting those erring members that sold the dollar above N400 and or bought above N390 a dollar.

During the two-day operations, which took place between Tuesday and Wednesday, some traders were arrested. Sources said about five operators were arrested in Abuja and Lagos as at yesterday.

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