Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
Imagine my surprise when I opened Twitter on Sunday night, only to realise that fans of Erica were donating money to a GoFundMe account opened on her behalf after she was disqualified from the Big Brother Naija show.
And they were not sending this woman money in naira. They were doing it in – wait for it – DOLLARS. I can’t lie, I was shook.
But the more I think about this the more I want to say to Erica’s fans: “Be careful, the CBN is looking for dollars”.
Roses are red, CBN wll find the dollars you kept under your bed
On Friday last week, the CBN placed a Post No Debit (PND) order on 48 companies, on the allegation that they transfer foreign exchange outside of the country, in a way that hurts Nigeria’s economy.
The order largely affected gaming companies, and it is alleged that over $48 million dollars were taken out of Nigeria into foreign accounts – a move the CBN maintains does not help the FX scarcity situation in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, What Is A ‘Post No Debit Order’?
Note that A ‘Post No Debit‘ is an order that blocks all money debit transactions from taking place on a bank account, and this recent order placed on these companies is further proof that the Central Bank is taking the foreign exchange issue in Nigeria extremely seriously.
Meanwhile, this dollar directive is not isolated and the CBN has been doing all there is to streamline dollar processes in the country. Many Nigerian commercial banks now cap their international dollar outflow for customers at $100 daily.
But why is the CBN so concerned about dollars?
For much of 2020, FX instability has remained a major problem for the Nigerian economy. The supply of dollars has been on a decline for months due to low oil prices and the absence of foreign capital inflow into the country.
Because the sale of crude oil is denominated in dollars and oil sales accounts for 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, a crash in the international price of oil therefore affects Nigeria’s foreign exchange position badly.
We have seen the CBN devalue the naira at the official rate to N380, all in avoid the FX speculation. Essentially, $14,000 in any account is big deal, and the CBN might just be coming for Erica.