In the wake of the upcoming inauguration of the next Nigerian administration, the Naira has sharply depreciated to N760 per US dollar. The scramble for foreign currency has been intense, particularly among politicians, including contenders for the presiding officers of the National Assembly.
The swearing-in of the new administration is set for May 29, 2023, with the inauguration of the 10th Assembly expected on June 13, following a proclamation letter from the incoming President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
According to reports, the US dollar, which fluctuated around N735 over the last four weeks, skyrocketed to N760 in Abuja on Thursday. The rapid climb has been attributed to a rush for dollars among politicians.
A Bureau de Change (BDC) operator explained, “The contenders for presiding officers of the National Assembly are reaching out to their colleagues with dollars.” Many are reportedly converting their assets to dollars ahead of the inauguration due to uncertainty over the policies the new administration may introduce.
Discussing the market forces behind the dollar hike, Ahmed Sabitu, a BDC operator in Abuja, confirmed that a dollar is now exchanged for N760, adding, “Market forces have made the dollar increase, and there is nothing we can do about it.”
Meanwhile, as the countdown to the inauguration of the 10th Assembly continues, aspirants for the Senate presidency and House of Representatives speaker’s position have allegedly been enticing lawmakers-elect with thousands of dollars to secure their votes during the election of principal officers. Despite the APC’s zoning arrangement, some aspirants are reportedly still doling out dollars to their colleagues, insisting on proceeding with their bids for the Senate presidency and speakership.
As the political landscape remains volatile, the impact on the economy, specifically on the Naira, will be closely watched in the coming weeks.