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BDCs set N250/$ exchange rate agenda for President Buhari

Aminu Gwadabe
Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in Nigeria have set N250 to a dollar exchange rate agenda for President Muhammadu Buhari in his second term in office.
Aminu Gwadabe, president, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) who disclosed this to financial journalists in Lagos, said achieving a lower exchange rate for the economy would benefit the common man and lift businesses.
The naira exchanges at N362 to dollar at the parallel market and N360 to dollar at the BDC segment while the local currency exchanges at N306 to dollar at the official rate.
The ABCON boss also said such lower exchange rate would improve the transaction volume for BDCs by enabling operators buy and sell more dollars from their available cash flow.
He said a lower exchange rate against the greenback would stabilise the local currency, raise investors’ confidence, improve Diaspora remittance flow and entrench fiscal discipline.
Continuing, he said a stronger naira would raise Internally Generated Revenue, help in the implementation of the restriction of foreign exchange access to 42 items that could be produced locally, and improve BDCs capabilities to thrive.
He therefore advised the Federal Government to constitute new economic management team and review government’s performance in the last four years, saying such review would give room for better performance in the second term of this administration commencing May 29, 2019.
The economy is not performing to expectations, and government is expected to re-strategise and review its performance in the last four years and develop concrete actionable strategy for better performance, Gwadabe said.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, emerged the winner of the 2019 presidential election in Nigeria. The incumbent President, who defeated 73 other candidates, scored a total of 15,191,847 votes across 19 states.
If government waits till May 29 before setting up a think-tank economic team with functional experience on the economy, security, agriculture and human resource development, it would have wasted tangible time needed for smooth take-off, he said.
He said the committee members should have deep knowledge of the economy, and be ready to access information on how these sectors have worked effectively in other countries in order to deploy similar strategy in the interest of the local economy.
Gwadabe said by now, government should know where the complaints over its performance in the last four years came from and give priority to tackling unemployment, fixing road infrastructure, creating better investment opportunities for the people and companies as well as strengthening the financial sector, of which BDCs were key players.
The ABCON boss said: “It is only when the economy is buoyant, that they people will be able to save, and that provide enough liquidity for banks to lend and fuel the economy. The other sub-sectors including the bureaux de change sector will equally be positively impacted y a thriving economy.”
He advised the Federal Government to be more cautious at borrowing, ensuring that borrowed funds were channelled to projects that would be able to repay the loans. He said government should equally look at the tax system, and block all revenue leakage to generate more funding for the economy.
He said the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex Window introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was having positive impact on the forex market and should be sustained because of the stability it had brought to the market.
He said government should pay more attention to promoting ease of doing business, lifting private and public enterprises and creating jobs for the people.
According to Gwadabe, there is need for fiscal restructuring by ensuring that states become more efficient in revenue generation and less dependent on federal allocations. “Government should focus on things that create jobs, especially through small and medium enterprises by creating opportunities for them to have easy access to funds,” he said.
The BDCs have over the years remained a potent monetary policy tool for exchange rate stability. The sector, he added, has helped the government in creating over 30,000 jobs for Nigerians, thereby reducing the unemployment rate in the country. “The BDCs have continued to make foreign exchange available to the critical retail end users thereby deepening forex access in the country.
The BDCs have also been enhancing price discovery and transparency in the foreign exchange market,” he said.

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