Aspirants for the two largest political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are vacuuming up dollars around the country ahead of their primaries, causing the naira to depreciate further.
According to an evaluation conducted, the dollar has been fluctuating between N550 and N570 for the past two months until hitting an all-time high of N595 on the black market on Thursday.
The black market rate, which is significantly higher than the official rate of N415/$, is not recognized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but what is constant is that dollar has inflated heavily against the naira.
The naira has continued to fall against the dollar on the parallel market, according to this newspaper’s findings, as many people scoop up the limited foreign cash.
Many commercial banks are reportedly running out of cash as a result of their inability to meet many customer requests. As the scarcity remains, some are concerned that the currency rate could rise to N600/$. Politicians are on the lookout.
Aspirants’ rush to buy foreign currency has contributed to the pressure on the naira, which has been on the decline for some time.
Politicians seeking political office have been moving throughout the country, according to their agents, to buy foreign currencies, especially the dollar, which insiders say is far easier to use “to reach out to delegates” and other crucial stakeholders than hauling large suitcases.
The PDP’s presidential primary will be held on May 28-29, while the ruling APCs will be held on May 30 and June 1.
A total of 15 candidates have been cleared to run in the PDP primary, while roughly 30 candidates have chosen their APC presidential nomination forms.
APC and PDP hopefuls have been travelling around the country in the last four weeks to court delegates and meet key stakeholders.
The APC primary will attract 7,800 delegates, while the PDP primary will attract 3,700.
One of the APC’s prominent hopefuls was claimed to have distributed between $300 and $400 (N178,500 and N238,000) to delegates in two states in the North-East..