Rowdiness was the order of the day at the international wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) as passengers stormed Travelex counter to buy cheap foreign exchange.
Travelex, an international forex dealer had last week started selling the dollar to airline passengers and Bureau De Change operators at less than N400.
When our correspondent visited a counter of the dealer at the MMIA, many airline passengers were seen scrambling to buy forex which was sold for N371 to a dollar as at the time of filing this report last night.
A dollar goes for between N460 and N470 at the parallel market.
But the company refused to sell to those travelling to African countries and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, Daily Trust was told by travellers.
Though the decision by Travelex to sell the dollar at a cheap rate came as a relief, passengers scrambled to buy from it as was observed at the airport yesterday.
Many international passengers claimed they had been at the dealer’s counter since morning yet they were unable to buy.
However, Ahmed Abubakar, a Nigerian travelling to Cairo, Egypt told Daily Trust in Abuja that Travelex refused to sell to him and some other passengers travelling to African countries and Dubai.
“We don’t know why they refused to sell to us. They are only selling to those going to other places except African countries and Dubai. Must of us travel to the US, Europe or Dubai. I don’t understand this,” Mr Abubakar said.
Another traveller in Abuja who spoke with our reporter at the Travelex office at Area 11 corroborated Abubakar’s observation.
Ibukun Olurope who was travelling to Dubai for a business said the company refused to sell to her.
“Well, they didn’t give me any reason other than saying their bosses told them not to sell to Dubai travellers”, she told our reporter in Abuja yesterday.
When our reporters in Abuja and Lagos contacted officials of the Forex dealer in their offices in the two cities, they refused to speak to them.
But one of them in Lagos who pleaded not to be quoted said it was the instruction from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The acting spokesman of CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor, did not answer calls made to his mobile line yesterday. He also did not respond to text message sent to him.
Meanwhile, rowdiness was also the order of the day at the Travelex office in Lagos even as many passengers whose flight times were near were unable to get dollars as of the time of filing this report.
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