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Nigeria’s Money-Changers Are Going Underground

  • Dealers flouting new trading rules threatened with arrest
  • Latest development in central bank’s battle to bolster naira
Lagos, Nigeria.

Lagos, Nigeria.

Photographer: Peeter Viisimaa via Getty Images
Updated on

On the teeming streets of Lagos, the Nigerian mega-city of 15 million people, the once omnipresent money-changers are going underground.

They’ve become the latest target of authorities desperate to bolster the naira and crush a black market for foreign currency that’s boomed since the crash in oil prices strangled the inflow of dollars and battered the economy. This month, the central bank capped prices that non-bank dealers can charge their customers for foreign exchange, effectively pegging the black-market rate, with intelligence agents threatening to jail anyone who doesn’t comply.