In Nigeria, history repeats itself; first as tragedy, second as farce.

In a year that has brought so many new experiences, there is one Nigerians will be familiar with: dollar scarcity.

It happened in 2016 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) responded to a global oil price crash by basically refusing to sell dollars to whoever it deemed unworthy. It is happening again in 2020.

For something that has been top-of-mind for so many Nigerians, little is said about where dollars come from and where they go in Nigeria. Worse, when things are said, they are often untrue. Following the data, we analyse how Nigeria earns its dollars and how Nigerians spend their dollars. As we do so, we get a firmer understanding of the present crisis and how it may evolve. We also get more perspective on the CBN’s foreign exchange policies and how they have (not) helped.