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BDCs raise alarm over France involvement in Eco currency

The Bureau De Change operators have raised alarm over the involvement of France in the Eco currency project, saying the Federal Government should be wary of this.

Aminu Gwadabe, president of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) gave the advice while giving a review of the Association’s Quarterly Review for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019.

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He described the recent decision of the francophone countries to change the name of their common currency to ECO as worrisome and should be seen as an attempt by France to continue its dominant control of the Francophone West Africa country’s economies.

“Nigeria must not adopt the currency with France or Euro as the background promoters to avoid enslaving West Africa economically”.

Gwadabe said if the prime objective to facilitate cross border trade and economic development of the member states is still to be achieved, the structure of the system must be built on fundamentals in the sub region to complete with other economic blocks.

“Government is encouraged to pursue the project with sincerity of purpose based on sound policies devoid of interference from any economic block. The Central Bank of the sub region should be independent to invest the reserves in any world currency to satisfy the interest of constituent states”.

However, ABCON has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address the various factors threatening the profitability of BDC business in the country, particularly, “a market structure that exposes a BDC firm to unconventional structure, unfair competition and risk”.

Stressing that the CBN should allow BDCs to determine what to buy and sell, Gwadabe said: “Monetary authority determines the BDC firm’s buying rate, but unconcerned with open end of selling rate even though there is a cap. They should be free to determine what to buy and sell like in any market structure.

“Very clearly, the BDC firm’s selling rate is still largely determined by the parallel market rates which are higher in liquidity without any restraint from the authorities to curtail their activities.

“The firm is still largely exposed to several operations and systemic risks which require the appropriate articulation and design of structural adjustments to place the BDC firm on the right part during the new decade.”

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