(Bloomberg) — Nigeria’s foreign-currency shortage is squeezing the life out of Africa’s biggest economy.
Banks won’t honor card payments, foreign investors can’t get their money out and manufacturers are unable to import vital raw materials as output hurtles toward a second contraction in four years.
Dependent on oil exports for half of its revenue, the Nigerian government’s coffers have emptied after crude prices plunged in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. There’s little prospect of a respite any time soon: it needs oil prices of $70 per barrel and production of 2 million barrels a day to balance its budget, but prices are hovering around $40 and OPEC curbs have restricted the nation’s output to about 1.4 million barrels a day.
The evaporation of foreign