An emerging report by Daily Trust indicates that aspirants are mopping up dollars across the country ahead of the primaries of the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) coming up later this month.
Telescope.ng gathered that the new development has really led to the further depreciation of the naira, the Nigeria’s currency.
According to the report, dollar has hovered between N550 to N570 in the last two months before it jumped to an all-time high of N595 at the black market on Thursday, May 12.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not recognise the black market rate, which is far above the N415/$ official rate.
It was gathered that the naira has continued to depreciate at the parallel market against the dollar as many people scoop the scarce foreign currency.
Many commercial banks are said to be running out of dollars as they are unable to meet many requests from customers. There are fears in some quarters that the exchange rate might climb to N600/$ as the scarcity persists.
The rush by the aspirants to buy the foreign currency has added pressure on the naira, which has been on the slide for long.
The newspaper noted that through the BDC operators said politicians seeking elective offices have been moving around the country to buy the foreign currency, which sources said is much easier to use “to reach out to delegates” and other critical stakeholders instead of carrying big bags.
The PDP has fixed its presidential primary for May 28-29, while that of the ruling APC would hold between May 30 and June 1.
No fewer than 15 aspirants have been cleared to participate in the primary of the PDP while about 30 contenders have picked the forms for the presidential ticket of the APC.
In the last four weeks, aspirants in both the APC and PDP have been moving across the country to woo delegates and meet critical stakeholders of their parties.
A total of 7,800 delegates will participate in the primary of the APC and 3,700 will determine the flag bearer of the PDP.
One of the leading aspirants in the APC was said to have shared between $300 to $400 (N178,500 and N238,000) to delegates in two states in the northeast geopolitical zone.
A former governor reportedly said that a female head of a federal agency, who is at the forefront of promoting the governorship ambition of someone, has also been stockpiling the foreign currency.
He said: “She is one of the major contributors to the scarcity of the USD. Whenever she orders for the currency, there would be an increase in the rate of the dollar because she buys in millions.”