“It’ll come to a point when it won’t be realistic to import things.” My Conversation with a Nigerian Entrepreneur.

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Some nights ago, I was on a call with a long-time friend and Japafora client. At the terminal point of the confabulation, I cursorily asked how her business was going. I have known her for 10 years dating back to our time in college and she rarely, if ever, complained. “Bukky” has always been sanguine with an auspicious outlook on life.

Well, not this time though. She narrated, with poignantly tangible concern, how the plummeting strength of the Naira was proving problematic to her business operations. Nigeria is currently facing a foreign exchange crisis following the CBN ban with parallel market rates of the dollar hitting as height as 570 Naira. The rate of depreciation is a source of major concern to Nigerians in general and importers in particular.

Bukky operates an importation business and she lamented on how the high cost of the dollar was threatening to what had hitherto been a solid profit margin.

“Michael it will come to a point when it won’t be realistic to import things into this country,” she said.

While that seems a bit of a stretch, it must not be trivialised as a probable outcome even in the fringes of possibilities. The year Bukky was born, the US traded for around 22 Naira. Less than three decades later and it has depreciated by an astonishing 2500%.

Let’s put that number in context. In mean terms, the strength of the naira has dropped by 92.6 percent every year for the past 30 decades.

Bukky is not by any means isolated in this national ordeal as most Nigerians are in one way or the other affected by this ominous circumstance. But that is about as far as the bad news goes.

Bukky is a client of JAPAFORA and just admitted to a top US college for her dream Masters program. That’s the good news. Come this Fall, Bukky go JAPA !!!

I told Bukky, “You’ve given nearly three decades of your life to Nigeria, it is about time you chase your dreams and secure your future.” For a few, that future lies beyond Nigeria.

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